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Russia's U.N. envoy Churkin dies suddenly in New York

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MOSCOW Russia's combative ambassador to the United Nations, Vitaly Churkin, died suddenly in New York on Monday after being taken ill at work, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

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Russia says Ukraine passport order complies with international law

MOSCOW Russia said on Monday President Vladimir Putin's decision to recognise passports issued by separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine complied with international law, after the move drew criticism from France, Germany and the European Union.

Russia's Alrosa CEO could step down - sources

MOSCOW, Feb 20 Andrey Zharkov, head of Russian diamond giant Alrosa, could step down soon, two sources familiar with the situation told Reuters on Monday.

UPDATE 1-Russia says Ukraine passport order complies with international law

MOSCOW, Feb 20 Russia said on Monday President Vladimir Putin's decision to recognise passports issued by separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine complied with international law, after the move drew criticism from France and Germany.

Russia seeks to avoid sanctions by buying equipment from Iran

ABU DHABI Russia hopes to get around European Union sanctions by reaching a deal with Iran for the supply of gas turbine equipment for two power plants in Crimea, the head of Russian state defence conglomerate Rostec said on Monday.

Russia seeks to avoid sanctions by buying equipment from Iran

ABU DHABI, Feb 20 Russia hopes to get around European Union sanctions by reaching a deal with Iran for the supply of gas turbine equipment for two power plants in Crimea, the head of Russian state defence conglomerate Rostec said on Monday.

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Fresh ceasefire appears to hold for now in eastern Ukraine

AVDIYIVKA, Ukraine Ukrainian troops and Russian-backed separatists appeared to be respecting a new ceasefire attempt on Monday after international powers called for shelling to stop and for the withdrawal of banned heavy weapons.

Rosneft-led consortium plans to complete Essar acquisition next month -sources

MOSCOW, Feb 20 A consortium led by Russian oil major Rosneft plans to finally complete its $12.9 billion acquisition of India's Essar Oil next month, two Russian sources close to the deal told Reuters.

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Syrian rebels say army attacks wrecking ceasefire efforts

AMMAN Syrian rebel groups who have participated in peace talks said on Sunday that an upsurge in Syrian army shelling and bombing was wrecking the prospects of maintaining a ceasefire brokered by Russia and Turkey.

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Libya's Seraj sees Russia as possible intermediary with eastern commander

MUNICH Libyan Prime Minister Fayez Seraj of the U.N.-backed government in Tripoli said on Sunday he would like Russia to help overcome deadlock in the country, which is struggling with divisions among militias and an Islamist militant threat.

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