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Medvedev: Russia’s National Projects Focus on Human Development

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Russia’s “national projects”, launched last year after president Vladimir Putin’s May Decree,  intend to provide large-scale investments in human development and improving the well-being of the country’s citizens, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Tuesday at the International Labor Conference in Geneva.

“Last year we launched 12 national projects, the plan for modernizing and expanding the backbone infrastructure. In fact, this is a large-scale investment in people, in their development,” Medvedev said, according to TASS.

The Russian government has published information on its website about all the 12 National Projects, which are going to be implemented up until late 2024. The data were compiled on the basis of documents and certification from the National Projects that were approved at a session of the presidium of the Presidential Council for Strategic Development and National Projects dated December 24, 2018.

The key areas of the country’s strategic development were established by President Vladimir Putin’s order of May 7, 2018. The document outlined 12 priority areas: the Digital Economy, the Ecology, Labor Productivity and Supporting Employment, International Cooperation and Export, Education, Culture, Small and Medium Businesses and Support for Business Initiatives, Healthcare, Demographics, Safe and High-Quality Roads, Housing and Urban Environment and Science.

The work on these projects is aimed at “providing breakthrough scientific-technological and socio-economic development for Russia, increasing the standard of living, creating conditions and opportunities for personal fulfillment and unlocking every person’s talent,” the government stressed. The budget of the National projects will total 25.7 trillion rubles ($398 billion).

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South Korea Terminates Intelligence-Sharing Treaty with Japan

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The Republic of Korea has decided to abandon the military intelligence-sharing agreement with Japan, South Korean Yonhap News Agency reported on Thursday, citing deputy head of the country’s National Security Council Kim You-geun.

“The government decided to terminate intelligence sharing with Japan. Tokyo will receive the official notification through diplomatic channels,” Kim You-geun said at a briefing in Seoul.

He underlined that “Japan failed to explain the reasons behind excluding South Korea from the list of trusted trade partners, citing undermined relations of trust between Seoul and Tokyo, which caused these changes in defense-related cooperation of the two countries.”

Moreover, Kim You-geun announced that “maintaining the agreement signed for the purposes of sharing important military intelligence no longer conforms with South Korea’s national interests.”

On August 2, the Japanese government approved the proposal to remove South Korea from the list of countries receiving Japanese nanomaterials and high-tech components in a streamlined manner and without any restrictions. The decision will officially come into force on August 28.

On July 1, Tokyo tightened control over the export of three types of materials to South Korea, needed to produce semiconductors and displays of various electronic gadgets. The decision was particularly made due to suspicion that some of these components can be illegally delivered to North Korea from the South. Seoul flatly rejected such an idea and responded by introducing similar restrictions against Japan.

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UK Channel 4 to Shoot Documentary About Putin’s Influence on Modern World

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UK’s Channel 4 will produce a ground-breaking three-part documentary series on Russian President Vladimir Putin, the channel said in a press release. The film will include interviews with the Russian leader himself, his close circle and those most impacted by his actions, as well as archive materials.

“To understand what is happening in the world right now, it is necessary to understand Vladimir Putin. Putin has shown his staying power as one of the most formidable politicians of the 21st century. This series will explore how as a former spy he has redefined politics and the impact this has had globally”, Executive Producer James Rogan said, as quoted in a press release.

According to the press release, the series will show how his power has changed the modern world.

“This landmark series will show how Putin brought his knowledge of spy-craft to define the presidency of a nuclear power … It will explore how Putin’s personal experiences have influenced his politics, how modern Russia has been created through an acute sense of betrayal, pride and anger, and how Putin’s values have been exported around the world — from Crimea to Salisbury to Washington DC”, the press release read.

The series will be filmed in Russia, the United States, Europe and the United Kingdom.

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Syria Opens Humanitarian Corridor to Enable Civilians’ Exit From Idlib

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Syria has opened in the village of Suran, located in Hama province, a humanitarian corridor for civilians who want to leave the terrorist-controlled areas in Idlib, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

“Syria has opened a humanitarian corridor in the village of Suran, located in the north of Hama province, under protection of the Syrian army, to enable citizens who want to leave terrorist-controlled territories to do so,” the ministry said.

The corridor has been opened to “reduce Syrians’ suffering,” the ministry added, noting that all the demands of the civilians would be met.

In early August, a long-discussed truce in Idlib entered into force. However, the leadership of the Syrian Armed Forces said it would stop military actions if Turkey implements its obligations under the Moscow-Ankara deal, which was reached in Sochi, Russia last September.

The truce deal stipulates the withdrawal of medium and heavy weapons from the contact line in the area. Syrian government forces have renewed their activities in the northwest of the country due to the militants’ non-compliance with the agreement brokered by Russia and Turkey.

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