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RA’s Daily Russia News Blast – Aug 6, 2015

TODAY: Khodorkovsky’s father summoned for questioning; Russia threatens to retaliate if U.S. freezes assets for Yukos shareholders; activist investigated for extremism over Crimea comments; Vailsyeva whereabouts spark rumours; Pew survey reveals global anti-Russia sentiment; Lavrov and Kerry meet to discuss IS.

Boris Khodorkovsky, the 82-year-old father of former Yukos head Mikhail Khodorkovsky, has been called in for questioning about the 1998 murder of a Siberian mayor, in which his son is a prime suspect.  Khodorkovsy’s press service says the Investigative Committee is not after a serious investigation, but rather only wants ‘to apply pressure’ to his family.  Russia says it will take tit-for-tat action if the U.S. freezes any Russian state assets in connection with the Yukos shareholders’ bid to win damages.  A Duma member has filed a request with the Investigative Committee to examine recent statements by activist Maria Gaidar regarding the annexation of Crimea, for extremism and separatism.  The disappearance of former Defence Ministry property manager, Yevgenia Vasilyeva, who was charged and sent to prison for mass embezzlement earlier this year, has sparked rumours that she has walked free.

The Pew Research Centre surveyed the public in 40 nations this year, finding a majority of unfavorable attitudes towards Russia from almost all of them, except Ethiopia, Vietnam, India, Ghana, China, Nigeria, and South Korea.  Sergei Pugachuov, a former campaign adviser to Vladimir Putin, says that in 1999, when Boris Yeltsin was still in power, Putin didn’t want to be president or in a position of government authority.  The Kremlin says its Mistral warships dispute with France has been completely resolved.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met with his U.S. counterpart, John Kerry, but the two have yet to agree on a common approach to fighting Islamic State.  Lavrov called President Obama out for saying in 2009 that there would be no need for missile defence in Europe once Iran’s nuclear issue was resolved. ‘It seems that he was not telling the truth.

PHOTO: Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, center left, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, center, and Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir (C-R) stand together before a trilateral meeting on August 3, 2015 in Doha. (Brendan Smialowski/Pool photo via AP)