- Sputnik International
The latest news and stories from Russia. Stay tuned for updates and breaking news on defense, politics, economy and more.

Morning re-cap of main news, May 19

* Russia's Federal Security Service said it had thwarted a planned attempt to assassinate governor of St. Petersburg Valentina Matviyenko, who is considered a close ally of President Vladimir Putin

* Rival Palestinian groups Hamas and Fatah declared a new ceasefire after a week of violence between the factions that resulted in over 50 deaths, a Hamas spokesman said

* A new round of talks between Iran's top nuclear negotiator and the EU's foreign policy chief over the Iranian nuclear program might be held in Spain on May 31, the Iranian foreign minister said

* The Russian government will consider granting a $1.5 billion stabilization loan to Belarus in the next few months, Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said

* Russia will demand that the European Union reduce state subsidies to domestic agricultural producers after the country joins the World Trade Organization, Minister of Economic Development and Trade German Gref said

* Leaders of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR), consecrated a new church at a site of Stalin-era mass executions in southern Moscow in a symbolic act of unity following 80 years of rivalry

* A summit of the Group of Eight Industrialized Nations (G8) in 2008 will be held on the northern Japanese Island of Hokkaido on July 7-9, Japan's prime minister said

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