German Chancellor Angela Merkel led her party to victory in the parliamentary elections. However, her erstwhile coalition partner, the pro-business Free Democrats party, is unlikely to clear the parliament threshold, prompting Merkel's Union bloc to seek an alliance with the Social Democrats.
(Kommersant, Vedomosti, Rossiiskaya Gazeta)
The Russian opposition’s Coordination Council, whose members are to quit in October 2013, will elect new members. However, major Russian opposition figures either have already ruled out their participation or remain undecided.
(Kommersant, Vedomosti, Izvestia)
The Moscow-led post-Soviet security bloc, the Collective Security Treaty Organization, will hold a summit in Russia’s Black Sea resort city of Sochi on Monday. Ahead of assuming presidency, Russia hopes to bring the six member states together amid growing security threats in the region, including from Afghanistan.
Russia’s agricultural exports hit a record $17 billion last year. The government expects these sales to become one of Russia’s main sources of income.
Turkey’s decades-long negotiations on joining the European Union have yielded no tangible results. The country’s chief negotiator and minister of EU affairs, Egemen Bagis, has become the first high-ranking government official to admit that “it is possible that Turkey will never become an EU member.” The government sees certain EU member-states’ “biased attitude” as one of the reasons for this diplomatic failure.
METALS & MINING
The Raspadskaya coal company, a member of the Evraz group, has started selling coal to North Korea.
Moscow law-enforcement officers have completed an investigation into a major scheme to fraudulently obtain 120 buildings in Moscow, including 28 heritage-listed buildings, worth more than 10 billion rubles (almost $314 million) in total. One of the main suspects in the case is the former head of Moscow’s property department, Anatoly Shesteryuk. Several suspected accomplices are also on the wanted list.
TELECOMS & IT
BlackBerry, once Canada's premier technology company, said it expects to report between $930 million and $960 million in losses in the second quarter of the 2014 financial year, which ended on August 31.
The West-2013 strategic exercises began in Russia and Belarus on September 20. Maneuvers will be held on the two states’ territories. Their leaders President Putin and President Lukashenko are expected to attend the active phase.
A group of suspected members of an Al Qaeda-linked Somali militant group al-Shabab attacked the luxury Westgate Premier Shopping Mall, killing dozens and taking hostages. The attack, the country’s deadliest since 1998, followed Kenyan troops’ participation in an anti-terror operation in Somalia. The death toll currently stands at over 60, with more than 300 injured.
(Kommersant, Rossiiskaya Gazeta)
The nationwide introduction of a combined ID and bank card has again been postponed due to a lack of the infrastructure and equipment needed. Meanwhile, the project’s coordinating body conceded that the planned transition to plastic ID cards from current passports makes the whole project redundant.
Russia’s Foundation for Prospective Studies and Initiatives will spend 200 million rubles (almost $6.3 million) to create a social networking site allowing citizens to inform each other and state services about emergency situations.
Lawmaker with the ruling United Russia party Vladimir Gutenev has submitted a bill to the lower chamber of the Russian parliament, the State Duma, on the reintroduction of daylight saving time, which was scrapped during Dmitry Medvedev’s presidency several years ago.
(Vedomosti, Rossiiskaya Gazeta)
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Ukraine has not preserved its 1991 borders. The signing of the Geneva memorandum on April 17 reaffirmed the willingness of Russia, the United States and EU countries to reach a compromise. While the sides continue to trade tough talk and symbolic sanctions, the Kremlin and the White House are also holding a parallel dialogue on the coordinated geopolitical revision of Eastern Europe.