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Putin orders installation of webcams at polling stations

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said that protests after the parliamentary polls are a joy for him. He added that opposition is calling all elections unjust. In order to make them more clear, Putin offered installation of webcams at all polling station to prevent acts of sides attempting to legitimize the government.

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Russia 1, Russia 24, RTR-Planeta, radio Mayak, Vesti FM and Radio Rossii are hosting a special live Q&A show "Talk with Vladimir Putin. Continuation". The show's hosts are Maria Sittel and Ernest Matskyavichus.

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Alan Kasayev: “Potential role of VK’s analytic section may prove to be quite special”

20 years ago, after the collapse of the USSR, 15 new independent states emerged on the world map. This year these states celebrated the anniversary of their independence: Ukraine in August, Azerbaijan in October, etc. Kazakhstan will be the last one to celebrate its anniversary of independence - on December, 16. Experts estimate that this is one of the most economically successful of the post-Soviet states.

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World oil prices fall

World oil prices dropped by 4.4-5.2% on December 14 as a result of the decision of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to increase the quota for extraction to 30 million barrels daily.

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Prokhorov, Kudrin have no chance to launch successful project - Lev Gudkov

Russian tycoon  Mikhail Prokhorov announced this week that he would run for president in 2012. Soon after this statement was made former finance minister Alexey Kudrin said that he was going to establish a new liberal party.Vestnik Kavkaza asked Lev Gudkov, the head of the Levada-Center polling organization, to comment on the situation surrounding such initiatives.

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The Washington Post reported that Iran’s oil minister says his Saudi counterpart has pledged not to up crude production to replace Iranian oil in case sanctions impact Tehran’s ability to sell its petroleum. Rostam Ghasemi says Saudi oil minister Ali Naimi “rejects” replacing Iranian crude if Tehran faces oil sanctions over its refusal to stop activities that could be used to make nuclear arms.

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Moscow is hosting a CIS youth forum of public diplomacy today. Farit Mukhametshin, head of the Federal Agency for the CIS, Compatriots Living Abroad and Humanitarian Cooperation, opened the forum.

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Minchenko comments on reshuffle at Kommersant

The owner of the Kommersant publishing center, Alisher Usmanov, has organized a new reshuffle at the structure. He dismissed the Director General of Kommersant Holding, Andrey Galliyev, and Editor-in-Chief of Kommersant Vlast, Maksim Kovalsky.

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The Washington Post reported that The Obama administration has delivered a formal request to Iran for the return of a U.S. surveillance drone captured by Iranian armed forces, but said it is not hopeful that Iran will comply. President Barack Obama said Monday that the U.S. wants the top-secret aircraft back. “We have asked for it back. We’ll see how the Iranians respond,” Obama said during a White House news conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on Monday.

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