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Учебно-методическое пособие по английскому языку

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Russia and U.S. to sign civilian nuclear pact

MOSCOW: Russia and the United States will sign a long awaited civilian nuclear cooperation pact on Tuesday that will allow firms from the world's two biggest atomic powers to expand bilateral nuclear trade significantly.

The deal will be signed in Moscow on the last full day of Vladimir Putin's presidency, a Russian official said on condition his name was not used.

The deal will open up the booming U.S. nuclear market and Russia's vast uranium fields to firms from both countries. Without a deal cooperation was severely limited and required official consent.

"The potential value of this agreement is the value of all the contracts which could be signed between the two countries' firms in the nuclear sphere, which is obviously billions of dollars," a Russian source said.

At the 2006 Group of Eight summit in St Petersburg, U.S. President George W. Bush and Putin asked their governments to move forward on the deal but it has faced opposition from some U.S. congressmen because of Russia's cooperation with Iran.

"It is symbolic that it will be signed on the last day of Vladimir Putin's presidential term," the Russian official said.

The Russian source said the deal would be signed by Sergei Kiriyenko, chief of Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom, and U.S. Ambassador to Russia William Burns, who is leaving Moscow to take up the No. 3 post in the State Department.

A 123 agreement, so-called because it falls under section 123 of the Atomic Energy Act, is required before countries can cooperate on nuclear materials.

Some U.S. politicians have said nuclear cooperation with Russia should be shunned because Russia is helping Iran build an atomic power station in Iran, but the Bush administration is keen to have the pact approved this year.

Once the agreement is signed Bush will have to send it to Congress, which has 90 days to act. If Congress does nothing, the agreement goes into effect. If lawmakers want to block it, they must pass a resolution of disapproval.

Russia's parliament, which is controlled by Putin's party, must also ratify the Treaty.

Russia, one of the world's biggest sellers of enrichment services, has been trying to break into the prosperous nuclear markets of the United States and European Union.

Tuesday's deal creates a legal base that will allow companies to make agreements themselves on trade in nuclear materials.

"You cannot overestimate the importance of this agreement because it opens up the giant north American market for nuclear materials to Russian companies," Vladimir Yevseyev, a senior researcher at the Moscow Centre For International Security.

Putin, who steps down on Wednesday, has reformed Russia's nuclear sector to boost competition and open it up to world atomic firms such as Japan's Toshiba Corp, which owns U.S.-based Westinghouse Electric.

Russia has crafted a nuclear behemoth called Atomenergoprom -- which officials say is an atomic version of Russian gas giant Gazprom -- to compete with the biggest nuclear companies on the world market.

Competitors include the partnership between France's Areva and Germany's Siemens AG; Japan's Toshiba; and GE Hitachi, the nuclear venture of General Electric and Japan's Hitachi.

Russia has about 870,000 tonnes of uranium in reserves and more than 1 million tonnes if joint ventures abroad are included. That excludes a strategic reserve of highly enriched uranium and plutonium whose size is a state secret.

Russia already sells to the United States only uranium from dismantled Russian nuclear weapons under a programme known as megatons to megawatts. Sales are made through USEC Inc.

06/05/2008, International Herald Tribune

  1. Answer the questions:

  1. What agreement is to be signed by Russia and the USA? Where and when will it be signed?

  2. What is the accord signed by the two parties aimed at?

  3. Who will sign this agreement?

  4. What is the potential value of this agreement?

  5. In what case will this agreement go into effect?

  6. What will this Tuesday's deal allow Russian and American companies to do?

  7. Will this accord give a boost to competition among the biggest nuclear companies on the world market?

  1. Translate the following article into Russian using active vocabulary:


EU and Russia agree to new series of wide-ranging talks

BRUSSELS: Ending an 18-month impasse, European Union countries agreed Wednesday to begin wide-ranging new negotiations with Russia, raising hopes that an era of tension and confrontation with Moscow could give way to an improved relationship.

The agreement among senior European diplomats paves the way for the EU and Moscow to start negotiating their first broad cooperation deal in more than a decade.

"The new agreement we want to strike with Russia will shape Russian-EU relations for the 21st century," said Cristina Gallach, spokeswoman for the Javier Solana, the EU foreign policy chief. "It will replace what we currently have in place, which was the first agreement between the EU and Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union."

Coming at the start of the presidency of Dmitri Medvedev in Russia, the negotiation will be a test of whether or not the relationship between Europe and Moscow can improve after years of combative rhetoric from his predecessor, Vladimir Putin, who remains a powerful force as prime minister.

But negotiating the so-called Partnership and Cooperation Agreement will also put pressure on the unity of the EU, which has often failed to speak with a single voice to Moscow.

So sensitive are relations with Russia that the Europeans haggled for 18 months before coming to this agreement, which sets out the mandate with which the European Commission will conduct the talks with Moscow.

This step was delayed first by Poland, then by Lithuania, which cited concerns over energy security, the disappearance of Lithuanian businessmen in Russia and unresolved conflicts involving Georgia and Moldova.

Vilnius finally agreed to an EU mandate for the negotiations when an annex committed the European side to raise the three issues.

The pact negotiated by EU ambassadors opens the way for EU foreign ministers to approve the mandate formally at a meeting Monday and for negotiations to begin at the EU-Russia summit meeting in the western Siberian region of Khanty-Mansiisk at the end of June.

A total of seven annexes to the main text were agreed to, including one that binds the EU side to discussing the case of Alexandr Litvinenko, the former KGB agent who was killed in London.

"The important thing is that we have the agreement of all members to adopt the mandate while problematic questions will still be a matter" of the partnership talks," The Foreign Minister of Slovenia said at a news conference in Ljubljana, Reuters reported.

The talks are expected to last at least a year and any agreement will have to be ratified by all 27 EU member states, making it unlikely to enter into force until 2011.

Energy concerns will dominate the negotiation and the mandate requires the EU side to call for an agreement that would "enshrine the principles that would result from the ratification of the energy charter by Russia."

That would mean forcing Russian energy monopolies to allow Western companies to use their pipeline network to transit supplies through Russia, an idea vehemently rejected by Moscow.

Nevertheless there was optimism that some form of agreement could be reached in part because of growing economic interdependence.

According to Eurostat, the statistics office of the European Commission, Russia is the EU's third most important trading partner, after the United States and China, accounting for 6.2 percent of EU exports and 10.4 percent of EU imports in 2006.

Thomas Gomart, director of the Russia Center at the French Institute of International Relations, said that the timing was favorable because of the advent of a new president in Russia.

But he added that the negotiation would be more difficult for the EU side than during the past agreement of this type in the 1990s, when Russia was economically and politically weak.

"In Russia. now there is political assertiveness and a real strategy toward the EU, while there is no real EU strategy toward Russia," he said.

Masha Lipman, political analyst at the Carnegie Moscow Center, said that, while Putin's tough rhetoric against the EU had been popular politically in Russia, it had not furthered Russian economic interests in Europe.

"Being a difficult partner may serve to get over past humiliation but it doesn't do anything to further its interests," she said. "Both sides have interests and both sides have potential benefits."

Areas singled out for co-operation included science and technology education and training, the customs area, crime, transport, energy and telecommunications, environment and culture.

Since the agreement entered into force in late 1997, Russia's economic ties have grown significantly, as has its political and diplomatic weight. And in the meantime, the EU has expanded to include countries that were once part of the Warsaw Pact and which remain suspicious of Moscow.

21/05/2008, International Herald Tribune

  1. Answer the questions:

  1. What wide-ranging negotiations did Russia and the EU agree to start after ending an 18-month impasse?

  2. What is this agreement aimed at?

  3. What has prevented the adoption of this agreement over the past 18 months?

  4. Is the mandate of the agreement approved by all 27 EU member states?

  5. When is the agreement expected to enter into force?

  6. Does growing economic interdependence of countries accelerate the negotiations on the adoption of the Cooperation and Partnership Agreement?

  7. In what areas does the deal aim to foster cooperation Between Russia and the EU?

  1. Turn to current press material. Give short pieces of information on cooperation between Russia and other countries in different fields.



  1. Active vocabulary: words and word combinations:

  1. a stance - позиция

a tough stance – жесткая позиция

an aggressive stance – агрессивная позиция

to stiffen one’s stance – ужесточить позицию

  1. to stall – зайти в тупик

stalled negotiations – зашедшие в тупик переговоры

  1. to sever ties – порвать отношения

severance of diplomatic relations – разрыв дипломатических отношений

  1. a party to a dispute – сторона, участник конфликта

  1. a standoff – противостояние, конфликт

  1. to be at loggerheads – быть в ссоре, не в ладу с кем-то

  1. to handle (tackle) a dispute – заниматься разбором спорного вопроса

to settle (resolve) a dispute peacefully (through negotiations) – разрешить

спорный вопрос мирным путем (путем переговоров)

  1. to constrain a conflict – сдерживать конфликт

  1. to trigger a conflict – вызывать конфликт

  1. to accuse smb. of doing smth. – обвинять кого-либо в чем-либо

  1. sanctions (restrictions, an embargo, a ban) – меры воздействия, санкции

to apply restrictions in (trade) – применять, использовать ограничения (в торговле)

to violate embargo – нарушать эмбарго

to extend sanctions – продлить, распространить санкции

the extension of existing sanctions – продление существующих санкций

to back sanctions – поддерживать санкции

to drop (remove, lift, abandon ) sanctions – отменить (снять) ограничения

to impose sanctions – наложить (ввести) санкции

  1. a hurdle – препятствие

to remove a hurdle – устранить препятствие

  1. a deadlock (stalemate)– тупик

to break the deadlock – преодолеть тупик

  1. to make concessions – делать уступки

to concede – уступать

  1. to reach a consensus – прийти к согласию

  1. to remove obstacles – устранить препятствия

  1. to escalate (heighten) tensions – усиливать напряженность

  1. to reduce (ease, lower) tensions – уменьшить, снизить напряженность

  1. differences – зногласия

to iron out differences – устранять противоречия

to smooth differences – сглаживать противоречия

to resolve (tackle) differences – разрешить разногласия

to overcome differences – преодолевать разногласия

  1. to be on the verge of collapse – быть на грани срыва

  1. to collapse (to breakdown) – провалиться (о переговорах)

a breakdown – провал

to fail – не удаваться, терпеть неудачу

  1. to urge smb. to do smth. – призывать кого-либо сделать что-либо

  1. to put strong pressure on – оказывать давление на кого-либо

  1. reconciliation – примирение

  1. to thaw – теплеть (об отношениях)

a thaw in relations – оттепель в отношениях

  1. deadline – крайний срок

  1. Translate into Russian using active vocabulary:

  1. The clash of interests will come over the CIS countries in Eastern Europe and the Southern Caucasus. In effect, the EU and Russia are competing for economic and political influence in these regions. If that were not enough, they are also divided on the domestic situation in Ukraine, Belarus, and Georgia, and hold deeply opposing views on the best ways of settling the "frozen conflicts" in Transdnestr in Moldova, Abkhazia and South Ossetia in Georgia, and Nagorny Karabakh between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

  2. Seeking to force President Robert Mugabe into negotiations with the opposition, the United States formally proposed UN Security Council sanctions on Zimbabwe, including an international arms embargo and punitive measures against the 14 people it deemed most responsible for undermining the presidential election through violence.

  3. Though Washington says it prefers a diplomatic resolution to the standoff over Iran's nuclear activity, the U.S. and Israel have not ruled out a military option. Iran insists its nuclear program is only for peaceful purposes, such as energy production. On Friday, Iran's top Revolutionary Guards commander, Gen. Mohammed Ali Jafari, said Iran would consider any military action against its nuclear facilities as the beginning of a war.

  4. And while the governments may be at loggerheads, the business communities of Russia and the U.K. are closely entwined. “Russia still gets foreign direct investment from the U.K. and there's 400,000 Russians living in the U.K., and this is the Russian elite. The U.K. has an interest in them being here because they bring in a lot of money, with all these Russian companies listed on the London Stock Exchange."

  5. Today the international community's deadline for the final attempt to hammer out a negotiated solution to the problem of Kosovo's future expired. The international "troika" overseeing talks between Kosovo Albanians, who want independence from Belgrade as soon as possible, and Serbs, who are willing to grant only a greater degree of autonomy, delivered their report on the talks' failure to the U.N. Security Council. The breakdown has raised fears of renewal of violence in the region. But while tensions are indeed rising, there are sound reasons why the worst-case scenarios — including new conflict in the Balkans — probably will not be realized.

  6. Amid increasing concern from the United States and the European Union that tensions between Russia and Georgia could escalate into open conflict, the Foreign Minister of Germany is seeking to mediate among all sides, traveling to Georgia and its Russian-backed breakaway region of Abkhazia on Thursday, then to Moscow on Friday. He said Germany's equally close ties with Georgia and Russia offered a chance of at least lowering tensions and getting all sides to talk.

  7. The Secretary of State will sign the plan in Prague, but it faces some hurdles. Talks with Poland have stalled over Warsaw's demands for U.S. aid to help modernize its army, and the Czech treaty will face opposition in Parliament.

  8. In another sign of a step-by-step thaw in US-Iranian relations, The Secretary of State has softened the US warning against Americans traveling to the Islamic republic, a senior American official said.

  9. The US yesterday imposed economic sanctions on Burma, banning new investments by American companies in the military-ruled southeast Asian country. ^ The sanctions allow existing agreements to remain in place. The US is the fourth largest foreign investor in Burma. The White House has been under pressure from Congress to impose the sanctions and called for a ban on new investment.

  10. Despite Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change holding its first talks with representatives of President Robert Mugabe's government on Thursday, there's no early end in sight to the country's political stalemate. The meeting in the South African capital, Tshwane (formerly Pretoria) was aimed at pursuing a power-sharing agreement, to resolve the increasingly violent deadlock that has followed the widely discredited June 27 runoff election through which Mugabe claimed reelection following the withdrawal of the MDC's Morgan Tsvangirai amid a torrent of violence against his supporters. The talks reflect mounting international pressure on both sides to achieve a compromise.

  11. The most negative assessment of the impasse on missile defense issues came from the Russian Defense Minister, who said, "In principle our positions have not changed."The two sides also failed to reach a deal - but agreed to continue talks - on what sort of pact might set limits on their nuclear arsenals after current treaties expire.

  12. Shared values and requirements of globalization will smooth differences between Russia and the West, making them more accommodating in regards to each other as well as in international affairs in general. In dealing with the CIS countries, Moscow will respect more their sovereignty and their desire to diversify foreign relations and will prefer to solve problems in a low-key diplomatic manner rather than resorting to rhetoric and public polemics. Efforts will be made to overcome differences with the West and work closer with it. The Asia-Pacific region will also remain a focus of the Kremlin's attention. Our cooperation with China will intensify while relations with Japan will be moved ahead.

  13. The idea voiced by General Baluyevsky at the recent summit is aimed at breaking the CFE deadlock. He suggested that Russia should be allowed to lift restrictions on arms on its flanks - in the north and south of its European part. This would allow it to freely move armed forces and hardware in this territory, and to react promptly to emerging situations. Russia would not increase the strength of its troops under this proposal.

  14. Chavez, who just months ago called reconciliation impossible, said the talks were aimed at a "relaunch of cooperation, peace and integration of Latin America." "We have a need to take up the path again and reactivate relations. Now that depends on many things," Chavez said.

  15. The President of France, eager to realize his vision for harmony and prosperity around the Mediterranean, has reached out to Syria, a nation often accused of sponsoring terrorism and undermining regional unity.

  16. Sarkozy asked Assad for help in easing the international standoff with Iran over its nuclear program. Assad, in turn, asked France to contribute efforts toward a peace deal between Syria and Israel. Sarkozy, whose country holds the rotating European Union presidency, also called for reviving efforts toward an EU deal with Syria that stalled in 2005.

  17. After a more than three hour session at the Group of 8 summit meeting here, leaders of African countries and industrialized nations could not reach a consensus on how to move forward. President George W. Bush and other Western leaders urged the international community to condemn Mugabe and back strong sanctions against Zimbabwe, but the leaders of the seven African nations who were also in attendance resisted growing pressure to adopt a tougher stance.

  18. The Foreign Secretary said today Russia and China's decision to block international sanctions against Zimbabwe was "incomprehensible" and confirmed Britain would continue to fight to end suffering at the hands of Robert Mugabe. A draft resolution, drawn up with the United States, that went before the UN Security Council, called for travel bans on the dictator and 13 other leading members of his regime and a freeze on their overseas assets. It also proposed an arms embargo and the appointment of a special envoy to help with the creation of a new government. But the move was scuppered by Russia and China's veto. Russia's UN ambassador, said the sanctions went beyond its mandate to deal with threats to international peace and security.

  19. North Korea rejected a proposal to resume stalled reconciliation talks with South Korea, while Seoul denounced the communist regime Sunday for the shooting death of a tourist that heightened tension between the divided nations.

  20. The South Korean government has been battered by weeks of protests against Lee’s decision to lift an import ban on U.S. beef. Last week, a South Korean tourist was shot and killed by the North Korean military at a tourist resort in the North, and Pyongyang scoffed at Lee's offer of dialogue to reverse the deepening chill in inter-Korean relations.

  21. The new Russian President met the British Prime Minister for the first time today as the two leaders attempted to thaw relations after a period of diplomatic hostility. Relations between Britain and Russia has been strained over the past two years. At last year's G8 summit Tony Blair is believed to have become embroiled in angry exchanges with Vladimir Putin, Mr Medvedev's predecessor.

  1. Translate the following article into Russian using active vocabulary:

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Venezuela, Colombia hold talks to repair ties

PARAGUANA, Venezuela (AP) - Venezuela's Hugo Chavez and Colombia's Alvaro Uribe took a stab at mending relations Friday after months of sniping that threatened billions of dollars in trade and unleashed a diplomatic crisis between Latin America's top U.S. opponent and closest U.S. ally.

Chavez, who just months ago called reconciliation impossible, said the talks were aimed at a "relaunch of cooperation, peace and integration of Latin America."

"We have a need to take up the path again and reactivate relations. Now that depends on many things," Chavez said, welcoming Uribe warmly before they began closed-door talks at the Paraguana oil refining complex on the Caribbean coast. It was their first one-on-one meeting since August.

Analysts said the two are setting aside their on-and-off feud because each benefits politically from normalized relations. The countries are key commercial partners, with $6 billion in trade last year, and the leaders were expected to sign accords to link the Andean neighbors with two new railways.

Chavez also has reiterated his willingness to help negotiate the release of hundreds of hostages still being held by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, rebels.

For both presidents, "the interest right now is to lower the level of confrontation and strengthen relations in common areas, especially the economy," said analyst Sadio Garavini, a former Venezuelan diplomat.

Relations sank to their lowest point in decades in March after Colombia attacked a rebel camp in Ecuador. Chavez responded by briefly dispatching troops to Venezuela's border with Colombia, pulling his ambassador and threatening to cut back trade. He later restored relations, something Ecuador's leftist government hasn't done.

During a feud over Chavez's mediation role with Colombian rebels, the Venezuelan president called Uribe a "pawn of the U.S. empire" and likened him to a mafia boss. "A man like that doesn't deserve to be the president of a country - coward, liar!" Chavez said.

Colombia, meanwhile, accused Chavez of offering an open-ended loan of at least $250 million to the FARC - charges bolstered by documents that Uribe's government said were retrieved from a laptop at the bombed guerrilla camp. Bogota officials also said Venezuela has long harbored several rebel leaders.

Chavez denied the accusation, and Colombia's ambassador to Caracas, Fernando Marin, said the laptop documents are not on Friday's agenda.

In Colombia on Friday, the FARC issued a statement condemning what it called the "betrayal" of two guerrillas who had been responsible for the 15 hostages freed by Colombian soldiers in a bold rescue mission this month.

The FARC said it remained open to trading other hostages for imprisoned guerrillas.

Chavez made reconciliation easier for Uribe when he called on the FARC last month to disarm and give up its hostages - after previously urging world leaders to consider the group a legitimate army of insurgents.

Through Chavez's mediation, the guerrillas freed six hostages earlier this year.

But the FARC said subsequently that it was finished with unilateral releases. Then Colombia's military rescued the 15 rebel-held hostages last week - reducing Chavez's profile while pushing Uribe's already immense popularity to new highs.

"Uribe is strengthened internationally," while "Chavez has realized he was riding the losing horse" and has expediently adjusted his stance toward Colombia, said Rafael Nieto, a Colombian analyst and former deputy justice minister.

Chavez is looking to shore up his political support ahead of state and local elections in November, and maintaining a conflict with Colombia could be unpopular among Venezuelans.

Uribe has his own political imperative for smoothing over tensions: trade.

For both presidents, "the interest right now is to lower the level of confrontation and strengthen relations in common areas, especially the economy," said analyst Sadio Garavini, a former Venezuelan diplomat.

11/07/2008, CNN

  1. Answer the questions:

  1. What were the talks held by Venezuela’s and Colombia’s leaders aimed at?

  2. What political benefits will each party to a conflict get from normalized relations?

  3. What economic advantages do Venezuela's Hugo Chavez and Colombia's Alvaro Uribe seek from restoration of relations between their countries?

  4. When did the relations between Venezuela and Colombia sink to their lowest point?

  5. What did the political leaders of both countries accuse each other of?

  6. What was a turning point in the conflict between the two parties?

  7. What are Venezuela’s and Colombia’s leaders’ reasons for changing aggressive and tough stances and smoothing over tensions between their countries?

  1. Translate the following article into Russian using active vocabulary:

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