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Helsinki Shipyard to Get New Russian Owner: Report

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Finland’s Arctech Helsinki Shipyard, currently owned by Russia’s United Shipbuilding Corporation, is to get a new ownership and a new name, Kommersant reported.

The company had difficulties winning new orders for the shipyard, as it is under both U.S. and EU sanctions. According to the report, Cyprus-based Algador Holdings, owned by Russian businessmen Rishat Bagautdinov and Vladimir Kasyanenko, is the shipyard’s buyer.

In preparation for the closing, Arctech Helsinki Shipyard Oy (AHS) is establishing a new company, Helsinki Shipyard Oy. AHS will transfer its assets and operations to Helsinki Shipyard Oy, which will continue shipbuilding at the wherf. In the transaction, AHS will sell 100% of Helsinki Shipyard Oy’s shares to Algador Holdings.

Following the transaction AHS will continue its shipbuilding operations as a shareholder of Nevsky Shipyard. The last vessel that will be delivered from Helsinki shipyard under AHS’s ownership is the Arctic tanker NB515, which completed sea trials on May 12.

“The transaction will not have any effect on subcontracts. AHS’s personnel will be transferred to Helsinki Shipyard Oy without changes to their contracts. Under the new owners Helsinki shipyard can concentrate on its core expertise, which are strong ice-class vessels and cruise ships”, says Victor Olerskiy, the incoming Chairman of the Board of the Helsinki Shipyard Oy, who is a former Deputy Minister of Transport of the Russian Federation.

Establishing Helsinki Shipyard is described as “an important step in moving forward with tender backlog, which currently total at $1.68 billion. The tenders consist of several cruise ships, icebreakers and LNG tankers. Letters of intent have already been signed for some of the tenders.”

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Moscow Refutes Claims That Russian Ground Troops Present in Syria’s Idlib

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The Russian Defence Ministry refuted on Thursday a recent report by Reuters information agency that claimed that Russia had recently sent its ground troops and special forces to the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib for fighting alongside the Syrian Army against the opposition.

“Claims that Russian ‘ground troops’ and ‘special forces’ are allegedly participating in military operations in the province of Idlib (Syria), spread by UK information agency Reuters, are another fake. There are no Russian ‘ground troops’ in Syria, and there have never been any”, the Russian Defence Ministry said in a statement.

Тhe news comes several days after jihadists attacked Harab al-Hizato settlement in Latakia province 

Russian military previosuly launched several airstikes on terrorist positions in Idlib after the militants had attacked Turkish military post and Russian Hmeymim airbase.

The northwestern Idlib province is home to scores of various groups, including the Jabhat al-Nusra terror group. Around 30,000 militants, including foreign mercenaries, are reportedly operating in the region.

Russia, Turkey and Iran are the ceasefire guarantors in the country. Russia carries out humanitarian operations across the country on a regular basis and helps Damascus in providing safe passage for the return of Syrian refugees.

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Putin, Zelensky’s Personal Meeting Not on the Table Yet — Kremlin

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A possibility of holding a personal meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Vladimir Zelensky is not being discussed now, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

“No, we are not discussing it yet. For now, it is important to wait until the Ukrainian elections [to the Verkhovna Rada] are completed. Then, we will be able to seriously resolve serious problems without the fuss surrounding the election campaign,” he said in response to a question whether the personal meeting of the two leaders is possible in the near future.

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At Least 90 People Killed in Floods in Nepal

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At least 90 people were killed in the floods caused by heavy rains in various regions of Nepal, NNI News reported on Thursday citing Nepal’s Ministry of Home Affairs.

According to the ministry, at least 29 citizens are missing. The Nepalese authorities managed to evacuate more than 3,000 people affected by the disaster from the flooded areas. A search and rescue operation continues in the disaster area.

According to earlier reports, 64 people were killed and 31 people were missing.

In late June a monsoon, the strongest in the last 10 years, hit South Asia. Heavy rains caused problems with transport communication, demolition of buildings and numerous accidents.

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