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Report: Bogdanov Had Stormy Meeting with Nasrallah over Assad

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov reportedly had a stormy meeting with Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah last month.

The Saudi al-Watan daily on Sunday quoted sources as saying that during his talks with Nasrallah, Bogdanov proposed the possibility of naming a new Syrian president to lead a transitional government.

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Moscow: Nationalist March Shows Ukraine 'on Nazi Path'

A torch-lit march held in Kiev to honor a controversial anti-Soviet resistance leader shows Ukraine is following in the footsteps of the Nazis, a senior Russian foreign ministry official said Friday.

"Torch-lit marches in Ukraine demonstrate that it is continuing to move along the path of the Nazis! And this is in the center of civilized Europe!" Konstantin Dolgov, the foreign ministry's human rights envoy, wrote on Twitter.

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Syria Says Ready to Meet Opposition in Moscow

Syria's regime is willing to meet the country's opposition in Moscow to seek a way out of the nearly four-year civil war, a government official said on Saturday.

"Syria is ready to participate in a preliminary and consultative meeting in Moscow to respond to the aspirations of Syrians who are trying to find a solution to the crisis," the foreign ministry official said, quoted by SANA state news agency.

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Putin Says his Grip on Power is Firm and Economy Will Rebound

President Vladimir Putin vowed Thursday that Russia would rapidly recover from its financial crisis and said his grip on power was firm, even as new Western sanctions and a run on the ruble pile on the pressure.

The Russian strongman, who is locked in a confrontation with the West, showed no willingness to change tack on Ukraine and dismissed the possibility of the country's elite turning against him.

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Russian Arms Sales Soar on Domestic Spending

Sales by Russian arms manufacturers continue to expand thanks to Moscow's investments despite a downturn in global defense spending, a Stockholm-based think-tank said Monday.

"The remarkable increases in Russian companies' arms sales in both 2012 and 2013 are in large part due to uninterrupted investments in military procurement by the Russian government during the 2000s," said Siemon Wezeman, senior researcher at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

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Attackers Torch Rights Group's Office in Chechen Capital

Attackers set alight the office of a prominent rights group in Chechnya after its activists criticized Chechen strongman Ramzan Kadyrov for saying that relatives of Islamist insurgents would be punished.

The office of the Joint Mobile Group, one of the few human rights groups active in Chechnya, was set on fire late Saturday, its leader Igor Kalyapin wrote on Facebook.

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MH17 Wreckage Arrives in Netherlands

A convoy carrying wreckage from Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 arrived in the Netherlands on Tuesday on its way to a Dutch air force base where the doomed plane will be reconstructed.

Dutch national broadcaster NOS showed eight trucks carrying wreckage crossing the border with Germany overnight, before heading to a southern air base after the morning rush hour and under police escort.

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Russia Says Ferguson Violence Highlights 'Massive' U.S. Problems

Russia said on Tuesday that the racial unrest in the U.S. town of Ferguson highlighted "massive" domestic problems in America that stemmed from Washington's failure to respect human rights.

"The latest events in Ferguson are another and very worrying signal to the American authorities indicating that it is finally time for them to focus on massive domestic problems in the field of ensuring human rights," the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement.

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Merkel: No Security in Europe Without Russia

Russia is key to ensuring European security, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday as she marked a quarter century of reconciliation with neighboring Poland.

"We are aware that Europe's security can only be ensured, in the medium and long term, with Russia," Merkel said at a ceremony with Polish Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz in the southern Polish town of Krzyzowa.

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Czech Leader Invites Putin to Prague in January

The Czech president has invited his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to a Holocaust forum in January, his spokesman said Tuesday.

The invite from the pro-Russian Czech leader, Milos Zeman, comes as tensions over Moscow's role in the Ukraine crisis have plunged relations between the West and Russia to a post-Cold War low.

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