Dmitry Medvedev
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Russian PM Ends China Trip with No Gas Deal

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin left China Wednesday after a visit that yielded $7 billion in trade pacts but no breakthrough on a long-delayed gas deal with the world's top energy consumer.

Putin held talks with his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao and President Hu Jintao in Beijing on his first foreign trip since he announced plans to reclaim the Russian presidency.

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Russia, China Ready to Draft 'More Balanced' Syria Resolution

Moscow and Beijing are ready to propose a U.N. resolution on Syria that is more "balanced" than the West's draft that they controversially vetoed last week, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday.

Lavrov said in an interview with Profil magazine that the Moscow-drafted version would condemn violence carried out both by the regime of Bashar Assad and the rebel opposition.

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Eight Killed in Syria as Medvedev Tells Assad to Reform or Leave

Eight Syrians were shot dead on Friday as thousands of people rallied against the regime of President Bashar Assad and in support of a newly formed opposition front, activists said.

The fresh surge of violence came as Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said Assad will have to give up power if he fails to implement reforms acceptable to the opposition, and the Syrian regime again blamed "terrorists" for the unrest.

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Medvedev Denies Russia Vote 'Predetermined'

President Dmitry Medvedev on Friday denied that the fate of Russia's elections was predetermined by his decision to step down in favor of his political mentor Vladimir Putin.

"How can they be predetermined," news agencies quoted Medvedev as saying in a Russian television interview to be aired on the country's main channels on Friday evening.

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Gorbachev Says Russia Risks Six 'Lost Years' under Putin

Russia risks six lost years when Vladimir Putin returns to the Kremlin if he does not undertake wholesale change of its political system, the Soviet Union's last leader Mikhail Gorbachev said Monday.

Gorbachev wrote in a commentary for the Novaya Gazeta, which he part owns, that the decision for Putin to stand for the presidency in 2012 elections instead of incumbent President Dmitry Medvedev was wholly expected.

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Medvedev Nominates Putin for 2012 Polls

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Saturday stunningly announced that Prime Minister Vladimir Putin should return to the Kremlin in 2012 elections for a new six-year mandate.

Medvedev told the annual congress of ruling party United Russia that he was prepared to take on "practical work" in the government after the March presidential polls, a hint that he could be prime minister in a new Putin presidency.

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Russian Delegation in Damascus for Talks

A group of Russian lawmakers arrived in Damascus Saturday to meet Moscow ally President Bashar Assad and opposition figures in a bid to broker talks aimed at ending violence in the country, news agencies reported.

"Russia cares about the fate of the Syrian people. That's why we want to find a way to stop a negative scenario developing," Russia's Interfax quoted Ilyas Uumakhanov, vice president of the Russian upper house, as saying.

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Inter-Korean Gas Link May Be Pipe Dream

A multi-billion dollar plan to funnel Russian natural gas to South Korea via its North Korean neighbor may be just a pipe dream despite major potential economic and political benefits, experts say.

The long-discussed project would reduce Seoul's huge gas import bill, bring a transit fee windfall to cash-strapped Pyongyang and rake in tens of billions of dollars for Moscow's state-controlled gas company.

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Syrian Activists for 'Day of Anger' Against Russia

Pro-democracy activists in Syria have called for a "day of anger" against Russia on Tuesday to protest Moscow's backing for President Bashar al-Assad, who for more than six months has tried to stifle an anti-regime uprising.

"Do not support the killers. Do not kill the Syrians with your position" in favor of the regime, the activists urged Russia in a posting on The Syrian Revolution 2011, a Facebook page that has been the engine for anti-Assad revolt.

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Russia Defends Assad Against Western Pressure

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Monday defended the Syrian regime against sanctions for its crackdown on protesters and warned British Prime Minister David Cameron of the dangers of such a move.

Cameron met Medvedev for talks focusing on Syria and bilateral disputes as global frustration mounted with Russia's continued support of its ally despite President Bashar al-Assad's months-long repression of nationwide protests.

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