Dmitry Medvedev
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Russia Welcomes North Korea Nuclear Moratorium

Russia on Thursday welcomed a decision by the new leadership in its neighbor North Korea to suspend nuclear tests and its uranium enrichment program in exchange for U.S. food aid.

"We particularly welcome the decision of North Korea to impose a moratorium on nuclear weapons testing and also on uranium enrichment," the foreign ministry said in a statement.

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Russian Theater Takes on Putin in Rare Satire

A bare-chested Vladimir Putin strokes the bottom of an Olympic gymnast and overdoses on Botox as his wife Lyudmila takes refuge in a monastery -- in a new staging of a play at a Moscow theater.

The play -- staged ahead of March 4 polls where Putin is expected to win back the presidency -- takes plenty of inspiration from Internet gossip and breaks almost every remaining taboo about the Russian leader's personal life.

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Iran, Russia Leaders Oppose Foreign Action in Syria: Kremlin

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in telephone talks on Wednesday that they reject foreign intervention in the Syria crisis, the Kremlin said.

"The sides spoke out in favor of the quickest resolution of the crisis by the Syrian people themselves through exclusively peaceful means and without foreign intervention," the Kremlin said in a statement.

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Putin Too Busy to Meet Election Observers

A group of European vote monitors said Saturday they were denied a meeting with Russian strongman Vladimir Putin ahead of next month's presidential elections because of his busy schedule.

The Russian premier is the overwhelming favorite to beat four weak rivals in a March 4 ballot that should hand him a third term as Kremlin chief.

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Russian Engineer Jailed for 13 Years for Passing Data to CIA

A Russian space center engineer received a 13-year jail sentence Friday on charges of passing secret strategic missile data to the U.S. Central Intelligence Service (CIA) in return for cash.

Russia's FSB security service said Plesetsk launch site engineer Vladimir Nesterets admitted receiving cash payments for information about "tests on Russia's latest strategic missile systems."

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Sarkozy Urges Medvedev to Back Arab Plan for Syria, Moscow Warns against 'Unilateral' Steps

French President Nicolas Sarkozy Wednesday urged his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev to give full support to an Arab League peace plan to persuade Bashar al-Assad to quit as Syria's leader.

During a phone conversation, Sarkozy also told Medvedev of "the necessity to increase the pressure on the Syrian regime to cease its brutal repression of the Syria people," said a statement from the French president's office.

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Putin Warns West against Meddling in Syria, Medvedev Still Backs U.N. Solution

Russian leaders under fire for a U.N. veto Wednesday rejected outside interference in the Syrian conflict, with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin warning against behaving "like a bull in a china shop."

"Of course we condemn violence from whichever side it comes, but we must not behave like a bull in a china shop. We need to allow people to decide their own fate independently," Putin said in televised remarks.

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Lavrov Meets Assad: He's Committed to Ending Violence, Wants Arab Mission Enlarged

Russia's foreign minister said after Damascus talks on Tuesday that President Bashar al-Assad was "fully committed" to ending the bloodshed in Syria even as regime tanks pounded the central city of Homs for a fourth straight day.

Sergei Lavrov said he had had a "very useful" meeting with Assad and that Moscow was eager to work towards a solution based on an Arab League plan that it had previously criticized.

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Sarkozy: Paris, Berlin Won't Accept Blocking of Syria Action

France and Germany will not accept the "blocking" of international action on Syria, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Monday, after Russia and China vetoed a U.N. resolution on the crisis.

After a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Sarkozy also said he would call Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on behalf of France and Germany later Monday to discuss the international community's response to the crisis.

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Russia Foreign Minister to Visit Syria for Assad Talks

Russia said Saturday that Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will visit Damascus on Tuesday along with the foreign intelligence service chief for talks with Syrian President Bashar Assad.

"On the order of the Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Sergei Lavrov and Mikhail Fradkov will visit Damascus on February 7 for a meeting with Bashar Assad," the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement.

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