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Main news of October 9



* French President Nicolas Sarkozy arrived in Moscow on a two-day visit, during which he will hold talks focusing on economic ties and key international issues with Russia's Vladimir Putin

* Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov sad he hoped that the U.S. response to Moscow's missile shield proposals would strengthen strategic stability and prevent new risks

* Moscow wants a dispute over Serbia's secessionist province of Kosovo to be put on the agenda of the Russia-EU summit in Portugal on October 26, a senior Foreign Ministry official said

* Russian President Vladimir Putin confirmed Russia is ready to participate in joint transport and economic projects with North and South Korea, the Kremlin press service said

* Former economic development and trade minister German Gref is the only candidate for head of Russia's largest state-controlled bank, Sberbank, a source close to the Central Bank said

* Two members of an illegal armed group have been eliminated in a special operation in Makhachkala, the capital of Daghestan, the republic's interior minister said

* Genetic analysis of what are believed to be the remains of the last Russian tsar's son and daughter, discovered in the Urals in July, will last at least three months, an investigator said

* Spanish electricity company Iberdrola Renovables will invest $140 million in the construction of a wind farm in south Russia's Krasnodar Territory, the local administration said


* Japan's Cabinet approved an extension of economic sanctions against North Korea for another six months over the lack of progress in the issue of the abduction of Japanese nationals

* October 9 saw the 40th anniversary of the death of Ernesto "Che" Guevara, the revolutionary socialist guerrilla leader whose image has been used to sell everything from mobile phones to Hollywood movies

* Georgian ex-defense minister Irakly Okruashvili has been released from a Tbilisi prison after posting bail of $6 mln, a spokesman for the Prosecutor General's office said

* Iran is ready to provide the United Nations nuclear watchdog with information on the country's uranium enrichment facilities, state news agency IRNA said, citing official sources

* Iran has built an air base not far from its border with Afghanistan, Iranian television reported

* One French and one German scientist were declared Nobel Physics Laureates for their independent discovery of the giant magnetoresistive effect, or GMR, in multilayers of iron and chromium

* A flawless 6.04 carat blue diamond has sold for $7.98 million at a Sotheby's auction in Hong Kong, making it the world's most expensive precious gemstone per carat

* A damaged control cable caused a second stage separation failure during the launch of a Proton-M carrier rocket in Kazakhstan, the head of the Russian space agency said


* Russian natural gas giant Gazprom said it had reached a deal with Ukraine on settling the latter's gas debt after a week-long dispute

* Russia could cut by half the term for considering foreign bids for strategic assets and simplify application requirements, the Russian Industry and Energy Ministry said

* International consultants have ruled that the Sakhalin II oil and gas project off Russia's Pacific Coast is in line with national and international environmental laws, Russian gas giant Gazprom said

* Russia will stop assigning quotas for commercial fishing from January 1, 2008, the head of the fisheries regulator said

* Russian aluminum giant United Company RusAl announced plans to invest around $7 billion in an aluminum plant with annual capacity of over 1 million metric tons in the Saratov Region

* Foreign investment in the Russian economy has totaled $50 billion so far this year, First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov said

* Moldova resumes wine exports to Russia, earlier suspended over what Moscow called "quality problems," the Moldova-Vin agro-industrial agency said

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