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Putin says he doubts Trump met with Moscow prostitutes

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MOSCOW Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday he doubted U.S. President-elect Donald Trump had met with prostitutes in a Moscow hotel room several years ago, referring to an unverified dossier published last week that Trump has dismissed as "fake news".

Russia cbank puts Rosneft's bank in charge of Orthodox lender

MOSCOW, Jan 17 The Russian central bank said on Tuesday it had assigned managers from Russian Regional Development Bank, owned by Russia's largest oil producer Rosneft, to temporarily run the troubled Orthodox Church bank Peresvet.

Lithuania to build fence along border with Russia's Kaliningrad

VILNIUS Lithuania plans to build a two-metre high wire fence along its border with the Russian region of Kaliningrad, its interior minister said on Tuesday, amid continued tensions between Moscow and the Baltic states, which are members of NATO.

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Iran says it does not want U.S. at Syria talks in Astana

DUBAI Iran's foreign minister said on Tuesday Tehran opposed a U.S. presence at peace talks on Syria in the Kazakh capital next week, after a decision by Russia and Turkey to invite Washington.

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Oil steady; record high Russian output forecast offsets weak dollar

NEW YORK Oil prices were little changed on Tuesday as forecasts for record production out of Russia in 2017 helped offset earlier gains related to a decline in the U.S. dollar and Saudi Arabia saying it would adhere to OPEC's commitment to cut output.

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Oil steady; record high Russian output forecast offsets weak dollar

NEW YORK Oil prices were little changed on Tuesday as forecasts for record production out of Russia in 2017 helped offset earlier gains related to a decline in the U.S. dollar and Saudi Arabia saying it would adhere to OPEC's commitment to cut output.

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World leaders should consider reopening G7 to Russia - Italy

ROME Russia is an important international partner and world leaders should consider inviting it back to the annual summit of major industrialised nations, Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano said on Tuesday.

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In Russia, Moldovan president says may scrap EU trade pact

MOSCOW Moldova may scrap a trade agreement with the European Union after the country's next parliamentary elections, Moldovan President Igor Dodon said on Tuesday during his first state visit to Russia.

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Russian state bank lent billions to fund Rosneft privatization deal

MOSCOW Russian state-owned bank VTB lent over $11 billion to Qatar and commodities trader Glencore four days after they signed a deal to buy a stake in Russian state oil firm Rosneft for the same amount of money, according to company records seen by Reuters.

UPDATE 2-Russian state bank lent billions to fund Rosneft privatisation deal

* Putin earlier forbade state lenders financing such deals (Changes attribution, edits, adds Glencore comment)

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Iraqi forces push Islamic State further back in Mosul - military

MOSUL, Iraq/BAGHDAD Iraqi special forces pushed deeper into Islamic State-held districts in eastern Mosul and army units fought the insurgents inside a military base in the city's north, officials said during the day on Tuesday.