Mixed Emotions For Russia After Azerbaijan Draw

Russia says foils plot to attack chemical arms facility

Russian IT exports are approaching $5 billion this year, Deputy Minister Mark Shmulevich said in an interview in Moscow. Its a meaningful figure, compared with the countrys arms export of about $15 billion, he said. It shows that Russia has competitive IT products to offer. Russia plans to help its domestic IT companies compete with global technology companies such as Google Inc., Facebook Inc. and Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) , which are expanding in the country, the strategy shows. Search engine Yandex NV (YNDX) and social-networks operator Mail.ru Group Ltd. (MAIL) already dominate the Russian market, beating foreign rivals. Russia has several Internet giants which are mid-sized companies on the global scale, while other market participants are much smaller, Shmulevich said. Thats why for a breakthrough technology startup its often easier to find investors abroad. We plan to change this. The Telecommunications Ministry will support joint projects by Russian scientific institutes and local IT companies to develop technologies such as speech and video-image recognition, robotics, cyber-security and cloud services, the strategy shows. We realize that IT is a global industry, and we dont plan to ban anything foreign, Shmulevich said. Instead, we plan to support domestic companies with state orders for R&D, loans and other market mechanisms to let them develop and gain international success. Besides publicly traded Yandex and Mail.ru, the Ministry names Kaspersky Lab, ABBYY , Dr.Web, 1C and Positive Technologies as examples of Russian IT companies which have gained recognition abroad. To contact the reporter on this story: Ilya Khrennikov in Moscow at ikhrennikov@bloomberg.net To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kenneth Wong at kwong11@bloomberg.net

I’m happy we finished ahead of Portugal at the top of our group; it was a difficult campaign. Vasili Berezutski, Russia defender We created a number of chances but could not convert them, while our opponents scored from their only opportunity. Azerbaijan were so happy with the draw you would’ve thought they are going to the World Cup finals, not us. We have achieved what has been our aim for two years, therefore the emotions are overwhelming. Now we can focus on preparations for the finals. Roman Shirokov, Russia captain and goalscorer The goal we conceded was a result of a lack of concentration. The bad thing is that our coaches told us about it, but we didn’t seem to pay full attention. They played with ten men [after the 73rd-minute dismissal of Maksim Medvedev] and, though we had the ball, we still conceded. It is a shame. The ball went into our box and we could not cope with the player [Vagif Javadov] who had the attempt. It is a team mistake, that is why nobody is really happy. Qualifying for the World Cup finals is not an excuse for giving away victory in such a game. Aleksandr Kerzhakov, Russia forward It is very disappointing to let the win slip away. Fabio Capello had some hard words in the changing room afterwards and he had every reason to be angry. We have conceded last-minute goals in three of four recent matches it is totally unacceptable.

Militants have previously carried out deadly bombings in Moscow and other parts of Russia outside the mostly Muslim North Caucasus, but specific allegations of plots to attack sites holding weapons of mass destruction in nuclear-armed Russia are almost unheard of. Authorities believe the suspects planned to build a bomb and attack the Maradykovsky chemical weapons storage and disposal facility in the Kirov region, about 1,000 km (620 miles) northeast of Moscow, the Federal Investigative Committee said. “The suspects planned a terrorist attack … that could have risked killing hundreds of people,” it said in a statement. It said the men had traveled north to the remote Kirov area from Moscow to plan the attack and it identified them as followers of Wahhabism – an ultra-conservative branch of Sunni Islam that is practiced in Saudi Arabia and which has become a derogatory term for Islamist radicalism in Russia. Investigators found bomb components and “literature with extremist content” in an abandoned house in the area where the suspects, aged 19 and 21, were living, the committee said. It said the suspects were natives of the North Caucasus, a mountainous southern region not far from the Black Sea city of Sochi, where Russia hosts the 2014 Winter Olympics in February. The region is some 2,000 km (1,200 miles) from Kirov. Insurgent leader Doku Umarov, a Chechen, has urged fighters to use “maximum force” to stop the Olympics taking place. President Vladimir Putin has staked his reputation on the Games and ordered authorities to boost security in the North Caucasus, where the Islamist insurgency is rooted in two post-Soviet wars pitting Chechen separatists against the Kremlin. After suicide bombings that killed dozens in the Moscow subway in 2010 and at a Moscow airport in 2011, Umarov called for more attacks on infrastructure in the Russian heartland, but no other major attacks have occurred outside the North Caucasus.