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Main news of August 25



* Russia's parliament called on President Dmitry Medvedev to recognize and establish formal ties with Georgia's breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia

* President Dmitry Medvedev warned that Russia could sever all ties with NATO amid a standoff over Russia's response to Georgia's offensive in breakaway South Ossetia

* Russia has to be concerned that NATO is continuing to get a stronger foothold in the Black Sea, the deputy chief of General Staff said

* Russia wants to join the WTO, but doubts it will be accepted into the global trade body within the next 12 months, the country's first deputy prime minister said


* Israel handed over 198 Palestinian prisoners as a goodwill gesture to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and to give an impetus to peace talks ahead of a visit by the U.S. secretary of state

* As current European Union president, France "keeps insisting" Russia withdraw its troops from the Poti-Senaki corridor, the French Foreign Ministry said

* The Latvian government decided not to send troops to take part in a regional military exercise in Russia's Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad, the government press service

* A Kyrgyz passenger plane bound for Tehran crashed near the capital, Bishkek, killing 68 people, while another 22 survived, the country's health ministry said


* TNK-BP announced the resignation of its Executive Vice President for Downstream, Anthony Considine

* The average world price for Russia's principal export oil blend rose $47.26 per barrel, year-on-year, in the first seven months of 2008 to $109.10 per barrel, Russia's Finance Ministry said

* Tatneft, one of Russia's top ten crude producers, posted its first ever quarterly report calculated to US GAAP with net profits amounting to 6.3 billion rubles ($259.6 million) in January-March 2008

* One of Russia's largest cosmetics retailers Arbat Prestige could face bankruptcy being hit by a new 1.59-billion-ruble ($65-million) debt claim, a Russian business daily said

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