RA’s Daily Russia News Blast – June 5, 2008

050608.jpgTODAY: Putin and Medvedev “work as a team”; EU to take a “fresh look” on relations; Russia threatens Ukraine over NATO; Medvedev emphasizes ecological responsibility; actions Abkhazia “could threaten Olympics”; Gorbechev says Lenin should be buried; more pressure on the media. A Duma speaker says President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin work as a team, and are not competing for power. The EU’s external relations commissioner says Medvedev’s emphasis on human rights and democracy will allow the European Union to “take a fresh look” at relations with Russia, but speculated that Moscow’s recent actions in Georgia’s breakaway region of Abkhazia might threaten the 2014 Sochi Olympics. The State Duma has reportedly recommended that the Kremlin consider pulling out of a friendship treaty with Ukraine if it takes further steps to join NATO. The country has reversed its stance on the Kyoto Protocol by pledging budget funds for clean energy and calling for limits on greenhouse gas emissions. “I cannot neglect the necessity of overhauling the system of ecological responsibility,” said Medvedev.

Russia has received “signals” that Russia’s government is changing, including the dismissal of the “ridiculous lawsuit” against Manana Aslamazyan. This weekend’s St. Petersburg International Economic Forum will be President Medvedev’s first major international appearance without Putin.Putin is reportedly finalizing arrangements on how the United Russia leadership will be coordinated this year. It is thought that Putin will take “direct control”. Mikhail Gorbachev has suggested that Lenin’s body, still on display in the Red Square mausoleum, should be buried.The Other Russia is reporting that the offices of Russia’s radio holding company, Russian Media Group have been raided by law enforcement officers, and one of their programs taken off the air. Federal authorities are investigating English-language “entertainment” tabloid The eXile to determine whether it has violated media laws, and possibly to shut it down. “I get the general sense that they have decided it’s time to shut us down, that they’re not going to tolerate us anymore,” said the newspaper’s founder.PHOTO: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin seen during their meeting in the Gorki residence outside Moscow, Wednesday, June 4, 2008. (AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Dmitry Astakhov, Presidential Press Service)