Russia welcomes the agreement to reset Israel-Palestine talks; Russia’s agreements with Syria on S-300 supplies remain in effect; Russia and China to hold anti-terrorism exercises in August 2013; Russia disposes off over 74 per cent of its chemical weapon
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  • According to reports , the Russian foreign ministry has lauded the agreement to reset the Palestinian-Israeli talks on the issue of the final status of the Palestinian territories. 1

    The Syrian Deputy Prime Minister Qadri Jamil after his negotiations with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said that all agreements signed between the two countries concerning deliveries of Russian air defence missile systems S-300 to the Syrian government remain in effect. 2

    Reports noted that Russia and China will hold an anti-terrorism exercise ‘Peace Mission 2013’ beginning August 15, 2013. It will include over 1,500 Russian and Chinese servicemen and will take place at the Chebarkul firing range near Chelyabinsk in Russia. 3

    Russia has disposed off 30 tonnes of “category one” chemical weapons, which make up over 75 per cent of its declared stockpiles. The rest of the chemical weapons are expected to be destroyed by the end of 2015. 4

    Russia and Macedonia have signed a bilateral agreement, according to which the two nations will construct a South Stream gas line offshoot in order to deliver gas to the Balkan country. The document locks Macedonia's guarantee of not introducing any limits to capital investments made by Russia in Macedonia. Macedonia is also required to facilitate a favourable customs and tax environment for its partner. 5

    Minister of Economic Development Alexei Ulyukayev has said that he was confident that inflation in Russia will be below 6 per cent in 2013. 6

    In other developments, according to reports, Russia’s Northern Fleet will continue to explore new navigation areas in the Arctic. The fleet’s surface naval forces have been in the Arctic since the middle of 2012. 7

    Russia has invited NATO countries to observe the Russia-Belarusian strategic war games ‘Zapad 2013’ which will be held towards the end of October in Belarus. 8

    Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and his Ukrainian counterpart Pavel Lebedev have discussed the state of and prospects for the development of their bilateral cooperation. These include military-technical cooperation and the Black Sea fleet. 9

    Prime Minister Medvedev has expressed concern over the weak competitiveness of the Russian economy despite simplification of licensing procedures, ensuring equal access to energy resources and infrastructure and reduction of excessive state facilities. However, he did stress that the government is making an effort to bring about greater competitiveness. 10