Russia, France agree to exert political diplomatic efforts to resolve Syrian issue; Putin has said that Russia will insist on legal guarantees that the proposed missile defence system will not be used against it; Rosatom ready to help Iran to build anothe
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  • (MAY 28-JUNE 3)

    According to reports, President Putin has said that Russia and France have agreed to push for a political and diplomatic solution to resolve the Syrian crisis. Putin noted that it was imperative that steps be taken in order to prevent a rerun of the Libyan scenario and the possibility of a civil war in Syria. 1

    In another development, President Putin has said that Russia needs “legally binding military-technological guarantees” that the European missile defence will not be directed against its national security. 2

    According to reports, the Russian nuclear power corporation Rosatom is ready to help Iran to build one more power unit at the Bushehr nuclear power plant, if it is economically profitable and politically expedient. 3

    Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Ministry's Commissioner for Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law Konstantin Dolgov has said that Russia hopes that the United States will take a more objective and balanced approach to human rights. He felt that the US has overlooked the large-scale work being done by the Russian leadership in the context of improving the political and judicial systems, overhauling law enforcement bodies and penitentiaries, and fighting corruption and as far as human rights problems are concerned, no country is immune against them. 4

    Reports noted that the total number of unemployed people in Russia counted under the standards of the International Labour Organisations (ILO) amounted to 4.4 million people as of the end of April 2012. 5

    According to reports, Russian President Vladimir Putin and the European Union leaders will meet at the 29th Russia-EU summit in St. Petersburg on June 3-4, 3012. These talks take place once every six months. Amongst the issues slated to be discussed include bilateral cooperation, international situation including developments in North Africa, Middle East, Syria, Libya, Iran and Korea, and the global financial crisis. The European Union is Russia’s biggest trade and economic partner. In 2011, the trade turnover topped the 2008 pre-crisis level amounting to approximately 394 billion dollars. Russia is the European Union’s third trading partner after the United States and China. 6

    Reports noted that Russia and New Zealand intend to conclude an agreement on free trade in the agrarian sector within the framework of preparations for the APEC-2012 summit. 7

    According to reports, the Russian Defence Ministry has signed contracts with Sevmash and Rubin for five Project 955A upgraded Borei A submarines. The submarines are armed with Bulava ICBMs and are 170 metres long, 13.5 metres wide, have a collapse depth of 450 metres and have a crew 107 sailors. 8

    In other developments, reports noted that Russia has finalized a much-touted visa agreement with the United States which stipulates that successful applicants from both countries would automatically get three-year multi-entry visas. This would also do away with the cumbersome requirement of a written invitation. However, the plan has to be ratified by both the houses of Russia’s legislature and there are indications that it will be ratified before the US presidential elections in November. 9