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Indian paint company, Berger Paints to open plant in Nevinnomysk, Russia

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Moscow: Indian paint manufacturing company Berger Paints has chosen to set up a plant in the Russian town of Nevinnomysk in the Stavropol region.

The decision to locate its paint and varnish manufacturing centre there, was taken after a group of Indian investors visited the town’s industrial park.

Indian investors visited a Russian regional industrial park, Nevinnomysk, along with regional officials, Vasily Shestak, first Deputy Head of the Nevinnomysk administration, and Dmitry Tolmachev, Deputy Minister of Energy, Industry and Communication of the Stavropol region. After examining some of the other functioning enterprises and exploring the options, the Indians decided to set up a paint manufacturing factory there.

Vladimir Vladimirov, Governor of the region, and Kuldip Singh Dhingra, owner of Berger Paints, one of India’s biggest paints and varnish manufacturing companies, had in February 2015 signed in New Delhi an agreement on cooperation, to establish an industrial and domestic paint and varnish manufacturing unit.

Berger officials are finalising a site for the factory at Nevinnomysk, for which four to six hectares of land is required. The company plans to invest at least $5 million in the project and create at least 50 jobs. According to local residents, it makes sense that Nevinnomysk was selected as the location for the new plant, because it has a highly developed transportation and logistics infrastructure for industry.

During their visit to Nevinnomysk, representatives from Berger Paints along with Shestak, Tolmachev and other local authorities and local and regional journalists visited some functional enterprises. These included PK Stroymontaj Yug (aggregate industry), USK (producing construction materials), MK-Nevprom (manufacturing multilayered paper bags), Lissant-Yug (poly-urethane sandwich-panels installment), Nevinnomyssky profil (manufacturing roll-shaped zinked metal profiles using cold shaping method), Terminal (logistical complex) and metallurgical factory Stavstal.

The regional industrial park began functioning in 2010 as a pilot project for the region. In 2012, it received a certificate from the association of the industrial parks of Russia with an “active” status, which was confirmed in 2014.

The value of investment in projects at the park is 16.74 billion rubles ($294.5 million). Investors have already paid 7.5 billion rubles. Of the 1,255 jobs envisaged, 624 jobs have been created, around 80 percent of all jobs created in the town.

Active enterprises have produced almost two billion rubles, and actively contributed to the town’s economy, thus improving conditions in the town and the region. (IANS)

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The Key Elements To Look For in Mueller’s Report

In recent days, however, Mueller's investigators have reportedly expressed frustration to associates that Barr's summary failed to adequately describe "derogatory information" about Trump's actions included in the report.

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Mueller
The letter that Attorney General William Barr sent to Congress on the conclusions reached by special counsel Robert Mueller in the Russia probe is photographed on March 24, 2019. VOA

On March 22, Special Counsel Robert Mueller concluded his 22-month-long investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election by submitting a nearly 400-page confidential report of his findings to Attorney General William Barr. A week later, Barr wrote to members of Congress that he expects to release a redacted version of the full report by mid-April, if not sooner.

Here are three of the most important things to look out for when the report is released:

How much of the report will the public see?

The report runs about 400 pages, excluding tables and appendices, nearly twice as long as Whitewater independent counsel Kenneth Starr’s 1998 report to Congress. But not every page is likely to be seen by the public, which could deepen a controversy already swirling around Barr’s refusal to release the full report.

While congressional Democrats want the complete report out, Barr has said redactions must be made to shield secret grand jury material and other sensitive information from public disclosure.

If the special counsel’s previous court filings are any indication, parts of the report are likely to be heavily redacted. In one recent filing by Mueller, almost every page was blacked out.

FILE - U.S. Attorney General William Barr leaves his house after Special Counsel Robert Mueller found no evidence of collusion between U.S. President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia in the 2016 election in McLean, Virginia, March 25, 2019.
U.S. Attorney General William Barr leaves his house after Special Counsel Robert Mueller found no evidence of collusion between U.S. President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia in the 2016 election in McLean, Virginia, March 25, 2019. VOA

Barr has pledged to provide maximum transparency. Whether he errs on the side of less or more redactions remains to be seen.

Blacking out large portions of the report could renew criticism that the Justice Department is hiding information from Congress and intensify Democrats’ demands for full disclosure. So far, Congress and the public have had to rely almost exclusively on Barr’s interpretation and summary. “Show us the Mueller report!” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California demanded.

On the other hand, if summaries of various sections of the report — which were reportedly designed by Mueller and his team for immediate release — are not heavily redacted, the attorney general could face questions for holding them back.

What will the report add to well-documented Russian election interference?

The first part of the Mueller report documents Russian computer hacking and social media disinformation efforts to influence the 2016 election. The majority of this part appears based on grand jury indictments handed down against Russian operatives in February and July 2018.

Per Barr, the special counsel’s finding was categorical: “The investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities,” Barr quoted from the Mueller report.

Trump seized on Barr’s letter to declare “total exoneration” for himself. But whether the full report totally vindicates him of involvement in the Russian meddling effort or leaves any clouds hanging over him remains to be seen.

While the special counsel has documented interactions between Trump campaign associates and Russia, he has not revealed whether Trump was aware of and endorsed any of the exchanges.

FILE - Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's former lawyer, returns to Capitol Hill for a fourth day of testimony as Democrats pursue a flurry of investigations into Trump's White House, businesses and presidential campaign, in Washington, March 6, 2019.
Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former lawyer, returns to Capitol Hill for a fourth day of testimony as Democrats pursue a flurry of investigations into Trump’s White House, businesses and presidential campaign, in Washington, March 6, 2019. VOA

​Disgraced former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen has claimed that Trump knew of both the 2016 Trump Tower meeting between Trump advisers and Russian operatives, and interactions between Trump informal adviser Roger Stone and WikiLeaks, which published damaging hacked emails regarding Democrat Hillary Clinton and her campaign organization. Trump has denied the allegations.

Was Barr’s exoneration of Trump justified?

The second part of the report, which deals with whether Trump obstructed justice, has generated the most controversy and is likely to be closely studied, parsed and debated.

In his summary, Barr wrote that “the report sets out evidence on both sides of the question. It leaves unresolved what the special counsel views as ‘difficult issues’ of law and fact concerning whether the president’s actions and intent could be viewed as ‘obstruction.'”

In recent days, however, Mueller’s investigators have reportedly expressed frustration to associates that Barr’s summary failed to adequately describe “derogatory information” about Trump’s actions included in the report.

If borne out, this apparent contradiction between what Mueller’s prosecutors claim is in the report and how Barr subsequently characterized it to Congress could renew criticism that Barr cherry-picked the report to justify exonerating the president of obstruction of justice.

Also Read: Policies To Fight Climate Change Have Created More Winners

On the other hand, the report could shed light on how Mueller arrived at his decision not to draw any conclusion about whether Trump obstructed justice.

In his letter, Barr wrote that his determination that there was no obstruction was based on a long-standing Justice Department policy against indicting a sitting president. However, he left unmentioned whether the guidance had been part of the special prosecutor’s calculus. (VOA)