Digest of headline news as of 3:30 p.m. Moscow time on June 25:
BUSINESS & FINANCE
*** ORESHKIN ON NEW U.S. SANCTIONS ON IRAN: SUCH RESTRICTIONS HURT EVERYONE
Sanctions hurt those who impose as well as those who are targeted by them, according to Russian Economic Development Minister Maxim Oreshkin.
"This issue goes a little bit outside the economic dimension. I think the Foreign Ministry will also comment here. But the main message is simple: any sanctions, any restrictions, are what doesn't lead to a positive result," Oreshkin said at a Valdai Discussion Club meeting in Moscow when asked to comment on the United States' sanctions on Iran.
"What we need to do is sit down at the negotiating table, discuss disagreements if there are any, and not go down the path of sanctions restrictions, which harm everyone," he said.
*** MINISTRIES AGREE ON INTRODUCTION OF ADDITIONAL DAMPER FOR DELIVERIES OF FUEL TO FAR EAST
Ministries have reached an agreement on the introduction of an additional damper for deliveries of fuel to the Far East, the deputy head of the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service, Anatoly Golomolzin, told journalists.
"We're currently discussing the situation as regards the Far East. A proposal on introducing an additional damping mechanism for the Far East will be prepared in the near future. These steps will help create conditions, various opportunities, for deliveries of fuel to the market of the Far East," Golomolzin said.
*** FOREIGNER ACQUIRES PART OF ZUBITSKY'S STAKE IN KOKS AMID SHAREHOLDER DISPUTE
Yevgeny Zubitsky has sold 17% of shares in Russian coke producer PJSC Koks that he previously transferred from direct ownership to Cyprus-based Carteron Investments.
The new ultimate owner of this stake, through a chain of companies registered in various jurisdictions - Cyprus, Guernsey, Switzerland and the UK - is Richard John Martin, Koks said.
*** KALININGRAD AMBER COMBINE SOLD 393 TONNES OF RAW AMBER IN 2018, BELOW TARGET
The Rostec Group's JSC Kaliningrad Amber Combine sold 393 tonnes of raw amber for 2.5 billion rubles in 2018, the enterprise said in its annual report.
China's Jiangsu Yulinglong Jewelry Technology bought 190 tonnes for 1.459 billion rubles under a long-term contract. Another 94 tonnes was sold for 727 million rubles on the St. Petersburg exchange, 82 tonnes for 128 million rubles under direct contracts and 26 tonnes for 185 million rubles at auctions.
*** RUSSIA BOOSTED PORK EXPORTS 5% IN 5M, TO ALMOST 15,000 TONNES - AGRICULTURE MINISTRY
Russia exported 14,900 tonnes of pork (not counting byproducts) in 5M, a 5% increase year-on-year, the Agriculture Ministry said.
A total of 1.73 million tonnes of pork was produced in that period (live weight), an increase of 5.9% (97,000 tonnes).
The growth came primarily from producers in the Belgorod region (up 22,300 tonnes), Pskov region (21,500), Voronezh region (14,800), and the Kursk region (9,800), as well as the Krasnodar Territory (11,300).
*** LEVEL OF CRIME IN FISHING INDUSTRY IS HIGH - RUSSIAN PROSECUTOR GENERAL'S OFFICE
Losses from illegal activity in the fishing industry exceeded 1 billion rubles in 2018, according to the Russian Prosecutor General's Office.
"Losses from criminal encroachments on aquatic bioresources exceeded 1.1 billion rubles in 2018 alone, less than half of which has been compensated through the efforts of investigative bodies," the agency said.
The fishing industry has a high rate of crime, it said.
*** PROMSVYAZBANK READY TO ACQUIRE SVIAZ-BANK, PARTICIPATES IN ITS MANAGEMENT THROUGH BOARD OF DIRECTORS - FRADKOV
Promsvyazbank (PSB) is ready to receive Sviaz-Bank from VEB, PSB CEO Pyotr Fradkov told journalists on the sidelines of the Army 2019 Forum.
"From our point of view, we're ready as Promsvyazbank. We have all the relevant agreements with VEB and the Finance Ministry. The whole regulatory base is ready, changes have been made, including with respect to personnel, in the Sviaz-Bank board of directors, where it's largely PSB representatives who are now taking on work," Fradkov said, adding that PSB representatives are already working at Sviaz-Bank "at the level of management. But there are also certain additional approvals there that VEB is continuing there with the Finance Ministry and Central Bank. As I understand it, certain elements are being discussed, but this is more a matter for my colleagues," he said.
*** PROMSVYAZBANK RECEIVES OVER 100 BLN RUBLES IN DEFENSE INDUSTRY LOANS FROM BANKS
Promsvyazbank (PSB) has received more than 100 billion rubles in defense sector loans from other banks, PSB chief Pyotr Fradkov told reporters on the sidelines of the Army 2019 Forum.
"It's those loans that were indexed by name in the instruction. Everything is fine, the process of transferring them is almost over. More than 100 billion rubles of those credits have now been transferred," Fradkov said.
*** AK BARS BANK SELLS 2.9% OF ORDINARY SHARES IN KAZANORGSINTEZ TO SVYAZINVESTNEFTEKHIM FOR 5 BLN RUBLES
Ak Bars Bank has sold 2.9% of ordinary shares in Kazanorgsintez to Svyazinvestneftekhim (which belongs to Tatarstan), according to a statement released by the bank.
On June 24, the bank sold 51,631,579 ordinary shares to Svyazinvestneftekhim, an Ak Bars shareholder, with the rights being transferred on June 25.
"The value of the shares that were transferred is estimated at 5,000,000,005 rubles," the statement reads.
POLITICS & SOCIETY
*** KREMLIN VIEWS PACE RESOLUTION ENABLING RUSSIA'S COMEBACK AS VICTORY OF COMMON SENSE
The Parliamentary Assemble of the Council of Europe (PACE)'s resolution, which enables the Russian delegation's comeback is a victory of common sense, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the press on Tuesday.
"As for the return of our delegation to the PACE and the relevant resolution, this is quite a positive phenomenon," he said. Journalists asked whether it was a diplomatic victory of Russia. "This is not a diplomatic victory of Moscow. This is a victory of common sense," he said.
*** KREMLIN DENIES U.S.' MENTION OF UKRAINIAN SAILORS DURING PREPARATIONS FOR PUTIN-TRUMP MEETING
U.S. representatives did not mention the release of the Ukrainian sailors during preparations for a possible meeting between the presidents of Russia and the United States, Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump, on the sidelines of the G20 Osaka summit, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
"No," Peskov said at a press briefing on Tuesday when asked whether Washington had conditioned the meeting on the release of the Ukrainian sailors.
*** PATRUSHEV SAID AT JERUSALEM MEETING SYRIA MUSTN'T TURN INTO ARENA FOR GEOPOLITICAL CONFRONTATION
Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev has said that he called for easing tensions between Iran and Israel and preventing Syria from becoming a stage for geopolitical confrontation at a meeting with his Israeli and U.S. counterparts.
"We reiterated the importance of a step-by-step easing of tensions in Iranian-Israeli relations through taking reciprocal steps to meet each other halfway. We also stressed that Syria must not turn into an arena for geopolitical confrontation," he said.
*** RUSSIA REJECTS ATTEMPTS TO PRESENT TEHRAN AS KEY THREAT TO REGIONAL SECURITY - PATRUSHEV
Russia rejects attempts to present Iran as the key threat to Middle East security, and urges the United States and Israel to work on easing tensions in relations with Tehran, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev said, speaking to the press after a trilateral meeting with U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton and Israeli National Security Council Chief Meir Ben-Shabbat in Jerusalem.
"Given the remarks made by our partners on the major regional country, Iran, I'd like to say the following: Iran was and still is our ally and partner, and our relations are steadily developing in the bilateral and multilateral formats," Patrushev said. "Therefore, we reject any attempts to present Tehran as the key threat to regional security, let alone put it on a par with ISIL (banned in Russia) or any other terrorist group as unacceptable," he said.
*** SOYUZ MS-11 CAPSULE LANDS IN KAZAKHSTAN
The Soyuz MS-11 capsule carrying David Saint Jacques of Canada, Oleg Kononenko of Russia, and Anne McClain of the United States successfully landed in Kazakhstan at 5:47 a.m. Moscow time, an Interfax correspondent has reported from the Mission Control Center.
*** RUSSIA'S S-500 NEXT-GENERATION AIR DEFENSE MISSILE SYSTEM READY FOR SERIAL PRODUCTION - MANTUROV
Russia's S-500 Prometei most advanced air defense missile system is ready for serial production, Russian Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov said in an interview with Interfax, adding that the new system's key qualities have been confirmed during trials.
"The development of the S-500 Prometei air defense missile system has entered the final stage. Control tests of the S-500 system's elements have already been completed. Tests of the complex as a whole are continuing," Manturov said. "The main qualities have been confirmed during the trials. This air defense missile system is ready for serial production," the minister said.
*** LUKASHENKO INVITES PUTIN TO EUROPEAN GAMES CLOSING CEREMONY, INVITATION ACCEPTED - BELARUS PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SERVICE
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has shared a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Belarusian presidential press service said on Tuesday.
"The presidents briefly discussed the bilateral agenda. Alexander Lukashenko invited his [Russian] counterpart to attend the closing ceremony of the Second European Games. Vladimir Putin accepted the invitation," the statement said.
*** UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT ZELENSKY DISAPPOINTED WITH PACE'S DECISION ON RUSSIA
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has expressed his disappointment with the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE)'s decision that allows the Russian delegation to come back to the Assembly.
"I am disappointed with the PACE's decision to fully confirm rights of the Russian delegation. I personally discussed the issue with the French president and the German federal chancellor last week," Zelensky wrote on Facebook on Tuesday. "I tried to convince Mr. Macron and Mrs. Merkel that the Russian delegation's return to the PACE is possible only after Russia meets the principled demands of the Assembly. It is a pity that our European partners did not hear us and acted differently," Zelensky said.
*** GEORGIAN PARLIAMENT REFUSES TO CONSIDER OPPOSITION'S DEMAND FOR INTERIOR MINISTER TO RESIGN
Representatives of the Georgian parliamentary majority refused to consider the opposition's demand for the resignation of Interior Minister Giorgi Gakharia at a parliamentary session on Tuesday.
The opposition lodged a protest at the start of the parliamentary session on Tuesday. Opposition MPs demanded that parliament include Gakharia's resignation and the release of all protesters detained in Tbilisi early on June 21 in its agenda and debate these issues.
*** EXPLOSIONS AT ARYS MILITARY DEPOTS STOP - KAZAKH DEPUTY INTERIOR MINISTER
There have been no explosions at the Arys military depots in southern Kazakhstan as of Tuesday noon, Kazakh Deputy Interior Minister Yury Ilyin said at a press briefing in Nur-Sultan on Tuesday.
"No explosions were observed on the depots' premises at noon. The Interior Ministry's group comprising over 1,200 men and more than 180 vehicles remain on the location," Ilyin said.
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Inter RAO not to use quasi-treasury share stake for M&A deals, it is needed to attract strategic investor going forward
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