Topic: Top stories of the day
* Moscow expects Tehran to cooperate with the “Group of Six” global negotiators on the Iranian nuclear program and urges the U.S. White House against supporting new sanctions against the Islamic Republic, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said
* More than 40 U.S. Catholic groups have filed lawsuits against the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama over its mandate that requires religious organizations to include the cost of birth control to their employees’ health insurance, The Chicago Tribune reported
* Russia will become a full-fledged member of the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA), a specialized agency within the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), on January 1, 2013 following its formal accession to the agency
* The Kremlin human rights council plans to ask President Vladimir Putin to veto a controversial new law that could see fines for unsanctioned protests rise by as much as two hundred times, the advisory council said
* Russia's Strategic Missile Forces test-fired a new prototype ballistic missile from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in Arkhangelsk Region, Defense Ministry spokesman Vadim Koval said, but did not name the new weapon
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The clash of Russian and Western interests has given rise to a geopolitical battle. German politicians are trying to leave all doors and windows open for dialogue with Russia. Moscow does acknowledge this, and Germany is probably the only country with which it is ready to discuss European security.