* The 10th annual meeting of the Valdai Club, a discussion forum at which high-level Russian officials have met with foreign political scientists since 2004, has started in the Novgorod Region in northwestern Russia. More than 200 Russian and foreign pundits, thinkers and politicians, including President Vladimir Putin, are due to discuss the country’s role in the modern world.
(Kommersant, Rossiiskaya Gazeta)
* An amendment to sweeping reforms of the Russian Academy of Sciences could be passed by Russia’s lower house of parliament in the second and third readings as early as Wednesday. Critics see this reform as the nail in the coffin of Russia’s ailing sciences – not as the medicine it needs to get it back on track.
* Opposition leader Alexei Navalny is planning to join his supporters in the People’s Alliance party and restart its registration process as the party was denied registration by the government this year in what the anti-corruption campaigner said was a result of his personal connection to it. (Vedomosti, The Moscow Times)
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
* Industrial growth in Russia remained at zero percent through the first eight months of 2013 confirming fears of prolonged stagnation largely caused by the global economic crisis.
* Bashneft, one of Russia’s top crude producers, has joined the list of the world’s most favorable companies for shareholders compiled by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG).
* The long-awaited "Grand Theft Auto V" hit the stores Tuesday in a sequel that promises to enthrall fans of the blockbuster videogame franchise. The developer, Rockstar Games, spent five years and a whopping $270 million crafting the title.
* Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has instructed the Finance Ministry to insure all satellites awaiting orbiting by Russian carrier rockets, following a long series of failed launches in the past few years.
* Russia’s Ministry of Labor has proposed to reduce the quota on migrant workers in 2014 by 100,000 people to 1.6 million.
* Russian President Vladimir Putin and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko are planning to attend the Zapad-2013 joint military exercises to be held in western Russia and Belarus on September 20-26. The exercises will reportedly focus on defending the Russia-Belarus Union State in response to the deployment of a US missile shield in Europe.
* Russia will reopen a military base in the New Siberian Islands, an Arctic archipelago north of Yakutia, to secure control of the strategic region. Under international law, the Arctic belongs to no single country, but the vast area is strategically important for northern hemisphere countries and is believed to contain huge quantities of hydrocarbons and other minerals.
(Kommersant, Rossiiskaya Gazeta)
* Russia’s K-150 Tomsk nuclear-powered submarine, which was damaged by fire on Monday will be repaired and returned to the Russian navy by the end of 2014.
(Izvestia, Kommersant, Rossiiskaya Gazeta)
* The majority of Russians see a threat to Russia’s territorial integrity coming from migrant workers, foreign enemies and separatists. Experts note that the Russians still tend to have “Soviet-era phobias” while overlooking new internal threats.
* Three policemen were killed and six others wounded Monday in a pair of attacks in Chechnya and Ingushetia, while another attempted attack on a police station in Ingushetia was foiled. Russian officials said they believed one of the region's armed groups was responsible for all the attacks, which highlight the instability in Russia's south as the country prepares to hold the Winter Olympics in nearby Sochi in February.
(Kommersant, The Moscow Times)
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