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RA’s Daily Russia News Blast – July 21, 2008

210708.jpgTODAY: Medvedev’s new (old) foreign policy; China and Russia end territorial dispute; Muslim council protests literature ban; troubled Abkhazia rejects German peace plan. Dmitry Medvedev’s stance on foreign policy “suggests a resentment of unilateral actions by the United States and a determination to shape a multipolar world order regulated by the United Nations and international law.” The Moscow Times says “the text of Medvedev’s foreign policy speech […] was drafted while Putin was still president.” Russia may send military aircraft back to bases in Cuba in response to US plans to deploy elements of a missile defense system in Europe. China and Russia have resolved a 40-year-old dispute over their border, with Russia pledging to return 67 square miles of territory. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is to attend the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics. A Moscow court has ordered former Yukos vice president Vasily Aleksanyan, who is being treated for AIDS-related lymphoma, to remain under armed guard until October 23, despite his lawyers protestations that any attempt to flee the hospital would be an “act of suicide,” due to his poor health.

The Foreign Ministry have accused the British foreign secretary of having distorted the facts over Russia’s recent veto of sanctions against Zimbabwe, attributing to it “a mythical breach of agreement”. Read a special report on political youth group Nashi’s summer camp. This speculative report from a Belarusian news source alleges that Russia has been covertly selling arms to Sudan.Russia’s highest Muslim council has issued a protest against a ban on some Islamic publications considered by the authorities to be “extremist“.Foreign minister Sergei Lavrov has called for an internationally developed “road map” to resolve tensions over Abkhazia. Abkhazia has rejected Germany’s plan for ending its conflict with Georgia, which Lavrov had previously referred to as “extremely helpful”. Abkhazia, says one UK journalist, is facing “a murderous bombing campaign”. One Russian opposition politician says that “Medvedev is not in control of the situation” in Georgia.PHOTO: Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov shakes hands with China’s President Hu Jintao upon arrival for a meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing July 21, 2008. REUTERS/Andy Wong/Pool (CHINA)