- Sputnik International
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Main news of March 4



* Russian natural gas giant Gazprom urged Ukraine to resume gas debt talks as soon as possible, and threatened further supply cuts

* Russia's envoy to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, said after a UN Security Council meeting that new sanctions imposed against Iran would give Tehran a chance to review its controversial nuclear program

* Russia's Foreign Ministry urged Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela to avoid escalating tensions after Colombian forces crossed into Ecuador and killed a senior rebel commander

* Kremlin-backed Dmitry Medvedev received more than 70% of the vote in Russia's recent presidential elections, the Central Election Commission said

* President George W. Bush phoned Dmitry Medvedev to congratulate him on his victory in the Russian presidential election, a spokesman for the first deputy premier said

* The Russian Air Force outlined plans to modernize the country's ageing fleet of military transport aircraft, the Air Force's commander, Colonel General Alexander Zelin, said

* A Russian government-appointed rights ombudsman criticized the actions of riot police during anti-government protests in Moscow


* Iran's Foreign Ministry dismissed the latest sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council, and said it would continue work on its nuclear program

* U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called for Israelis and Palestinians to resume peace talks and said that the radical Hamas movement was hampering peace efforts in the region

* At least two Palestinian militants were killed as Israel launched three air strikes on the Gaza Strip, spokesmen for the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and the Palestinian Health Ministry said


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