RA’s Daily Russia News Blast – July 2, 2008

020708.jpgTODAY: Supreme Court chairman moves on corruption; terrorist “black list” to be released; new Khodorkovsky charges could increase his sentence to up to 22 years; Kissinger optimistic on new Russia; human rights document composed by “deeply out of touch” Orthodox church. As part of the drive to clamp down on corruption, the Supreme Court chairman has proposed removing legal barriers that make it difficult to prosecute senior officials. The Federal Financial Monitoring Service is reportedly ready to release its “black list” of persons and entities it perceives as being involved in terrorism. It is being reported that the new charges being brought against Mikhail Khodorkovsky could add 15, 20, or 22 years to his sentence.

Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, in a piece called “Unconventional Wisdom About Russia”, writes optimistically in the International Herald Tribune on the new phase of Russian politics and its potential impact on the US. The US-Russia nuclear pact is facing delays and opposition from US Congress.The “deeply out of touch” Russian Orthodox Church is to adopt a new human rights document, which says abortion and homosexuality are “Western notions” of human rights, and cannot be defended as basic rights in Russia. “The new document comes at a time when the Russian Orthodox Church is enjoying massive influence in Kremlin policymaking.”President Dmitry Medvedev has appointed his close ally, Justice Minister Alexander Konovalov, as special presidential representative for cooperation with the European Union on freedom, security and justice. An explosion went off near a post for Russian troops in Georgia’s breakaway region of Abkhazia, but no one was injured. Russia says it is “logical” for Kosovo’s Serbs to create their own parliament.PHOTO: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev gestures during a meeting with Council of Europe Secretary General Terry Davis (not pictured) in the Kremlin in Moscow July 1, 2008. REUTERS/Alexander Natruskin (RUSSIA)