MOSCOW (AP) _ The ITAR-Tass news agency announced today that it was establishing an annual journalism prize for the best Russian and international reporting from the Middle East.

The award will be known as the Posuvalyuk International Journalist Prize, named after Russian diplomat Viktor Posuvalyuk, a Middle East specialist who died Sunday, the news agency said.

Each year, one Russian and one non-Russian reporter will be awarded the prize by the news agency's board of directors. The winners will receive a diploma and a medal.

ITAR-Tass is the state-owned successor to the Soviet-era Tass news agency.