RA’s Daily Russia News Blast – Aug 22, 2008

220808.jpgTODAY: Khodorkovsky parole appeal rejected. Russia submits draft resolution to UN over Georgia; Russia likely will sell weapons to Syria. Saakashvili interview. Healthcare crisis. Former Yukos executive Mikhail Khodorkovsky has has his parole appeal rejected by a Siberian court, on grounds that he had not taken part in a prison education program specializing in sewing. The decision can be appealed within ten days. Khodorkovsky had told the court that, if freed, he would quit the oil business, and devote himself to humanitarian work and family life.

Russia has formally submitted a draft resolution to the UN Security Council aimed at ending the conflict in Georgia, although territorial integrity remains a point of contention. Russia is setting up military posts for “peacekeepers” outside South Ossetia. Human Rights Watch has urged Russia to clear unexploded bombs it said were littering some areas of the Georgian countryside. The response of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) to the Georgia crisis “has been decidedly muted”. A new poll indicates that most Germans reject an extension of Nato to include Georgia. Listen to a BBC interview with Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili in which he says that initial Georgian attacks in South Ossetia were “defensive”, and that he expects Georgia to be offered Nato membership, and discusses his country’s plan to rebuild itself. The US says it will help rebuild the Georgian military. On “aging” Russian military equipment.Russia will consider selling weapons to Syria, which is in a state of war with Israel, but has stopped short of agreeing to a request for ballistic missiles that could target neighbouring states. Some fear that Russia’s arms sales could undermine Western interests.On Russia’s lack of healthcare infrastructure.PHOTO: Marina Khodorkovsky, right, the mother of former Russian oil gaint Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who stands behind bars, attends hearings at a courtroom in the Siberian city of Chita, some 3,750 miles (6,035 kilometers) east of Moscow on Thursday, Aug. 21, 2008. (AP Photo/ Denis Gukov)