RA’s Daily Russia News Blast – March 14, 2008

140308.jpgTODAY: Medvedev in the Kremlin, nominates ally for Rosneft post. “Color-coded” terrorist threat system to be implemented. Inflation causing other problems. Khodorkovsky’s complaints rejected. Dmitry Medvedev has moved into an office in the Kremlin ahead of schedule. His first Kremlin meeting involved “tough talk with State Fishery Committee chief Andrei Krainy, FSB Border Guard Service chief Vladimir Pronichev and Federal Customs Service Chief Andrei Belyaminov.” In the first sign that Medvedev is seeking to install his people in key posts, one of his close allies has been nominated for the board of state oil giant Rosneft. The Federal Security Service is to introduce a “color-coded” system of terrorist threat levels. The Russian prosecutor’s office has launched an inquiry into a paper and pulp mill suspected of polluting Lake Baikal, the world’s largest freshwater reserve. Travel web site TripAdvisor has released a survey this week calling the Russian capital the third-unfriendliest city in Europe.

The Economic Development and Trade Ministry is “sparring” with the Agriculture Ministry over legislation being drafted to control food prices that would “open the door to voluntary price freezes and outright price regulation by the state.” Russian central bank Deputy Chairman Konstantin Korishchenko meanwhile says the bank is “really worried” about inflation while ruling out a stronger ruble as a weapon against price increases.A court has rejected Yukos founder Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s complaints against violations in investigating two sets of charges against him. He had accused investigators at the Prosecutor General’s Office of concealing evidence substantiating his innocence and continuing the probe after it was officially closed.The Pentagon has confirmed that missile defense was mentioned during the US Defense Secretary’s visit to Turkey last month, adding to rumours that Turkey plans to join Poland and the Czech Republic in hosting America’s controversial missile shield. Billionaire Alisher Usmanov dropped a libel case against British newspaper The Mail after accepting a public apology over an article he said could lead to suspicions about him being guilty of rape and being involved in the death of a journalist.PHOTO: Russian President-elect Dmitry Medvedev is seen during a meeting with officials in the Kremlin in Moscow, Thursday, March 13, 2008. (AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Dmitry Astakhov, Pool)