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Main news of April 3



* Russian president-elect Dmitry Medvedev pledged a liberal state policy concerning the Internet, but stressed the need to respect national laws in using the Web

*  Russia will provide all the necessary support and assistance to Georgia's breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, the Russian Foreign Ministry said quoting President Vladimir Putin

* Russia has proposed Slovakia join the international uranium enrichment center in Angarsk, East Siberia, the Russian prime minister said after talks with his Slovak counterpart in Bratislava

* Dmitry Dovgy, a Russian chief investigator has claimed that fugitive tycoon Boris Berezovsky was behind the murder of investigative journalist Anna Politkovskaya, the Izvestia daily said

* While 11 members of a doomsday sect remain holed up in their underground shelter after more than five months, their leader has tried to kill himself, local prosecutors said

* Russia's Foreign Ministry called for increased international efforts to stop resumed tensions between Sudan and Chad in the highly volatile region in Africa

* Russia's Interior Ministry denied media reports saying charges had been brought against the head of Hermitage Capital Management, an investment fund specializing in Russian markets

* Over 20 military facilities will be auctioned off across Russia in 2008, including in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kaliningrad and Vladivostok, Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said

* Two villagers in Russia's southwestern Siberian Altai Republic plan to sue the space agency Roscosmos for damages over fallen fragments of carrier rockets, the local administration said

* Russia's Foreign Ministry called for increased international efforts to stop resumed tensions between Sudan and Chad in the highly volatile region in Africa

* A Moscow court extended the custody of three suspects in the 2006 murder of investigative journalist Anna Politkovskaya

* Russia plans to begin flight tests of a new fifth-generation fighter in 2009, the Russian industry and energy minister said

* Moscow police have released 30 members of pro-Kremlin youth movements, who were arrested during protests against Georgia and Ukraine's admission to NATO, a police source said


* NATO members meeting at a summit in Romania have decided to postpone offering the former Soviet republics of Georgia and Ukraine the chance to join the alliance's Membership Action Plan (MAP)

* Georgia and Ukraine called NATO's statement that both countries would eventually become members of the bloc 'historic'

* Thousands of people gathered in Donetsk, in east Ukraine, to protest against the Ukrainian leadership's drive for NATO membership

* NATO member states have postponed Macedonia's bid for membership in the alliance after Greece vetoed the request, NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said

* UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon will pay a visit to Russia on April 9-11, his spokeswoman Marie Okabe said

* Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said the admission of Ukraine and Georgia to NATO was inevitable, and that Belarus should strengthen its defense capacity accordingly

* Iran's Foreign Ministry said U.S. President George W. Bush's latest remarks on the alleged military threat posed by Tehran are aimed at destabilizing the Persian Gulf region

* Europe's space freighter, Jules Verne, has successfully docked with the International Space Station (ISS), bringing supplies to support the operation of the orbital station for another six months, Russian Mission Control said

*  Serbia's caretaker government failed to ratify a January gas deal with Russia to build a pipeline through Serbia, Belgrade's Tanug news agency reported


* TNK-BP will close a deal to sell a stake in the East Siberian Kovykta gas condensate field to Russian energy giant Gazprom in late April, the Russian-British joint oil venture said

* Flight tests of the new Sukhoi Superjet 100 medium-haul passenger airliner have been postponed from April to May, the Russian Industry and Energy Ministry said

* Rostelecom [RTS: RTKM] said its net profit calculated to Russian Accounting Standards increased 31.2% year-on-year in 2007 to 9.42 billion rubles ($390 million)

*  Russian state-controlled crude producer Rosneft [RTS: ROSN] said its SEC-standard proven reserves grew 8% year-on-year in 2007 to 21.699 billion barrels of oil equivalent

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