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Russia Withdraws Signature from ICC Founding Statute

Russia said Wednesday it is formally withdrawing its signature from the founding statute of the International Criminal Court, saying the tribunal has failed to live up to the hopes of the international community.

Russia in 2000 signed the Rome Statute setting up the ICC, the world's first permanent war crimes court, but never ratified the treaty.

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Putin Fires Economy Minister over '$2 Million-Bribe' Charges

Russian Economy Minister Alexei Ulyukayev was sacked Tuesday and put under house arrest on suspicion of pocketing a two-million-dollar bribe in a deal involving state-controlled oil giant Rosneft.

Ulyukayev is the highest ranking official detained over suspected corruption since Putin took power in 2000, and his arrest unleashed speculation as to whether the probe was linked to an internal power struggle.

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Russia Says Syria Bombing to Continue despite U.S. Warning

Russia on Thursday said it is pressing on with its bombing campaign in Syria despite the U.S. warning it will end talks on the conflict if Moscow does not halt the assault on Aleppo.

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Erdogan Proposes Syria 'No-Fly Zone' to U.S., Russia

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Monday he proposed, to the U.S. and Russia, the setting up of a no-fly zone in northern Syria, after Ankara-backed fighters pushed the Islamic State group from the border area. 

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Kerry Plans Moscow Talks on Syria Conflict

US Secretary of State John Kerry will make his latest trip to Moscow this week to seek common ground on how to deal with the ongoing bloodshed in Syria.

The State Department said Kerry would speak with senior Russian officials about Syria and Ukraine, as well as tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the Nagorny-Karabakh region.

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French PM: Russia Must Not Hit 'Wrong Targets' in Syria

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls urged Russia on Sunday to direct air strikes at Islamic State jihadists alone in Syria, as the West raises concerns Moscow will target moderate rebel groups opposed to Syria's president.

Speaking to journalists on a visit to Japan, Valls said Russia should not "get the wrong targets", echoing the words of French President Francois Hollande to Russian President Vladimir Putin at a Paris summit on Friday.

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Yaalon Warns Israel Won't Tolerate Transfer of Advanced Weapons to Hizbullah

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon has warned that Israel will not tolerate advanced weapons reaching Hizbullah, which has fought alongside Syrian troops.

“Those who try to violate our sovereignty – we will strike them, and those who try to transfer advanced weapons to terror elements, with an emphasis on Hizbullah, we will strike them, and those who try to transfer chemical weapons to terror elements, we will strike them,” Yaalon said on Tuesday during a visit to Gaza-border communities.

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EU, Russia, Ukraine Agree Winter Gas Supply Deal

Russia agreed to resume gas supplies to Ukraine over the winter under a deal clinched late Friday with the European Union, capping months of difficult talks overshadowed by the Ukrainian conflict.

European Commission vice president for energy, Maros Sefcovic, told a press conference the preliminary deal was a "crucial step" to ensure Ukraine has gas supplies from October through March and that Europe receives onward deliveries. 

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NATO Head Concerned by 'Substantial' Russian Syria Build-up

NATO head Jens Stoltenberg told Agence France Presse Thursday he was concerned by Russia's "substantial" military build-up in Syria and urged Moscow to play a constructive role in the fight against Islamic State jihadis.

"It underlines the importance of Russia making clear what are their intentions," Stoltenberg told Agence France Presse in an interview at NATO HQ in Brussels.

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Moscow Delivers Warplanes to Syria in Latest Boost to Regime

Russia has delivered new arms including warplanes to Syria as the regime increases attacks on jihadists, officials said Tuesday, in a sign that Moscow's growing support for its ally is having an effect.

A senior Syrian military official told AFP Damascus had received a fresh batch of arms, including at least five fighter planes, while a monitoring group said there had been a marked increase in regime attacks on the Islamic State group.

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