Russian President Vladimir Putin and British Prime Minister David Cameron discuss steps to resolve the Syrian crisis; Russia and Jordan called on all involved parties to make an effort to organise the conference on Syria; Foreign Minister Lavrov: Russia h
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  • According to reports, Russian President Vladimir Putin and British Prime Minister David Cameron have discussed steps to resolve the Syrian crisis. 1

    In another development, according to reports, Russia and Jordan have called on all involved parties to undertake active efforts to organise an international conference on Syria. As part of a meeting between Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Jordan’s Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh, the two sides exchanged views on the current situation in the Middle East and Northern Africa and expressed deep concern about the complicated humanitarian situation with the inflow of refugees from Syria to Jordan. 2

    Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov has said that Russia has no plans to sell S-300 systems long-range surface-to-air missile systems to Syria and is completing its arms deliveries under the previous contracts. 3

    Reports noted that Russia-Norway military exercisers have begun in Barents Sea. The main objective is to develop joint actions of Russian and Norwegian military in the Arctic region. 4

    Cyprus’s Finance Ministry has requested the Russian government to reconsider the terms of the Russian loan issued in 2011. This involves lowering the interest rate to 2.5 percent, extending the repayment period and making payments in instalments. 5

    President Putin has expressed his satisfaction on the level Russia’s ties with the US. 6

    Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said that Russia and the United States will spare no effort to create conditions for the beginning of Syria’s inclusive dialogue. 7

    According to reports, President Vladimir Putin has signed the federal law, on the ratification of the agreement between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Tajikistan on the status and stay of Russian military base in Tajikistan. The agreement was signed in Dushanbe on October 5, 2012 for the term of 49 years to be automatically extended for a period of next five years. The document regulates the status of personnel of the military base and family members and establishes the procedure for using military units of the base in coordination with Tajikistan’s Armed Forces. The agreement also regulates the base’s daily activity and property relations on using facilities of movables and immovables, plots of land. 8

    In other developments, according to reports, President Vladimir Putin has signed the federal law banning government officials from opening or keeping accounts at foreign banks outside Russia and using or owning foreign financial instruments. 9

    Prime Minister Medvedev has increased the share of new weaponry in service with the Russian armed forces to 75 per cent by 2020. The government has allocated 22 trillion roubles ($730 billion) for its ambitious armed forces rearmament program through 2020. 10

    Russia is ready to attract the Turkish defence industry to the production of several component parts of the air defence system Antey-2500 (S-300VM). 11

    Russia’s trade surplus is down by 13.6 per cent during the January-March period and stood at US$ 54 billion. Falling oil exports to Europe and ex-Soviet republics are among the factors responsible for the slump. 12