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News From Russia: What You Missed Over the Weekend

Igor Ivanko / Moskva News Agency

Pipeline aid

Saudi Arabia has not requested Russia's assistance after attacks on two plants at the heart of its oil industry, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the Vedomosti business daily Sunday.

Peskov later said the attacks, which the United States blames on Iran, could be addressed when the leaders of Turkey, Russia and Iran meet in Ankara on Monday to try to secure a lasting truce in northwest Syria. 

Spurned guests

The Taliban has sent a delegation to Russia to discuss prospects for a withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan following the collapse of talks with Washington this month, officials from the insurgent group that is banned in Russia said.

The move, days after U.S. President Donald Trump canceled a planned meeting with Taliban leaders at his Camp David retreat, came as the group looks to bolster regional support, with visits also planned for China, Iran and Central Asian states.

Missile sale

Russia has delivered a second battery of the S-400 missile defense systems to Turkey. In a video released by Russia’s Defense Ministry, parts of missile systems could be seen being loaded onto a cargo plane, which then took off.

In a statement, Turkey's defense ministry said the delivery of the second S-400 battery to Ankara was completed. Efforts to mount the systems and train personnel who will use them were continuing, it said, adding that it plans to activate the S-400s in April 2020.

Cleaning columns 

Moscow City Hall held a parade of municipal service vehicles Saturday, with garbage trucks, fire engines and street sweepers among the 600 vehicles that paraded the Garden Ring.

								 				Igor Ivanko / Moskva News Agency
Igor Ivanko / Moskva News Agency

The grandiose display in central Moscow comes after weeks of demonstrations there in support of opposition-minded candidates barred from running in last weekend’s City Duma elections. 

Cycling fest

Over 30,000 cyclists took part in a mass ride through Moscow’s streets Sunday to promote cycling in the city.

								 				Igor Ivanko / Moskva News Agency
Igor Ivanko / Moskva News Agency

Government statistics say that there are now more than 3 million bicycles in Moscow. The first cycling track in the city only appeared in 2011.

Includes reporting from Reuters.

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