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Russia, Qatar Vow to Increase Trade Volume to $500mn in 2020

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Commercial exchange between Qatar and Russia will increase to 500 million dollars by 2020, Russian ambassador to Doha Nurmakhmad Kholov has said, according to Prime news agency.

During a reception held Monday night to mark the National Day of the Russian Federation, Kholov announced that Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani would visit Russia this year’s fall.

He also commented on the increasingly close ties between Russia and Qatar, and recalled Al Thani’s two visits to the Eurasian country in 2018.

“Doha and Moscow have fruitful cooperation in fields such as energy, investment, construction, industry, agriculture, tourism, culture, sports, innovation and education, as well as exchange of experiences for the 2022 FIFA World Cup,” the envoy said.

“The establishment of exports from Russian agricultural products to Qatar is another mission in process to ensure food security and economic stability of the country, given the country being blocked by former key exporters (Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain),” he added.

Kholov also stressed that Qatar is the biggest investor in Russia’s economy among the Gulf Council countries.

According to the ambassador, other projects are under consideration in sectors such as infrastructure, agriculture, health, real estate, oil and gas.

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Erdogan says he will not declare ceasefire in northern Syria

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has made it clear to U.S. President Donald Trump that Turkey will never declare a ceasefire in northern Syria and will not negotiate with Kurdish forces it is fighting in its offensive into the region.

Turkey forged ahead with its offensive against the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia in northern Syria on Tuesday despite U.S. sanctions and calls for it to stop, while Syria’s Russia-backed army moved on the key city of Manbij that was abandoned by U.S. forces.

The YPG, the key component of the forces who fought Islamic State, is seen by Ankara as a terrorist group linked to Kurdish separatist insurgents in Turkey.

On Monday, Trump announced sanctions on Turkey to punish it for the offensive. On Tuesday, a senior U.S. official said Washington would threaten more sanctions to persuade Turkey to reach a ceasefire and halt its offensive.

However, speaking to reporters on a flight back from Baku, Erdogan said the offensive would continue until it reaches its aims, and added that he was not worried about sanctions.

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Woman killed in Russian apartment building blast

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A woman died and other young woman sustained injuries when a five-story building partially collapsed following an explosion in Russian village of Novonezhino.

Around 17 apartments were damaged when the ceiling slab, wall and the stair case of the building collapsed, Emergency Department said.

“The people were evacuated, 17 apartments were damaged. Seven elders have been transferred to temporary accommodation center,” the authorities said.

Rescue crews were searching for people who are believed to be trapped under the rubble. Rescuers were assisting the residents save their pets and belongings from the damaged apartments.

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Greek Church recognizes autonomy of Orthodox Church of Ukraine

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The leading figures of the Church of Greece decided at a meeting this weekend to recognize the autocephalous Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU), making it the first of the Eastern Orthodox churches to take such a step.

The Holy Synod of the Church of Greece recognized the autonomy of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine in line with a request by the Istanbul-based Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios

The Orthodox Times says the Greeks’ formal recognition will take place October 19 in Thessaloniki, with Archbishop Ieronymos and the OCU’s Metropolitan Epifaniy of Kyiv and All Ukraine present.

The Patriarchate of Constantinople, generally considered the spiritual headquarters for Orthodoxy, granted the Orthodox Church of Ukraine independence in January in a move that was adamantly resisted by Moscow and the Russian Orthodox Church. The new Orthodox Church of Ukraine installed its first metropolitan, Epifaniy, at a ceremony in Kyiv on February 3 in a process that further established the new church body’s independence

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