TODAY: Russia accuses foreigners of fighting for Georgia; Poland denounces Russia after motorcade shooting; Medvedev arrives in Brazil, sealing various Latin American deals; UK surveillance suspect Russian teapot. Politkovskaya trial to restart ahead of schedule.
President Dmitry Medvedev has arrived in Brazil for a three-day visit. During Medvedev’s Peruvian visit, it was agreed that Russian technicians will train Peru’s military to repair Russian-made helicopters. Russian warships are due to arrive in Venezuela today for joint naval exercises, according to Hugo Chávez, who insists that the exercises are not ‘provocation, just relationship building‘. Many – including the Kremlin – see this cooperation, taking place ‘in America’s back yard‘, as a challenge to US dominance. Conversely, both Medvedev and Vladimir Putin are voicing their hopes for improved relations with the US, with Putin announcing last night, ‘we hope that the new leadership of the United States will be more constructive, and will help us come to a mutually acceptable solution‘ on the START treaty.
Russia alleges that it has evidence to prove that citizens from NATO member states, including the United States and Turkey, fought on Georgia’s side in the war in August, and says that such support was a ‘criminal offense‘, but Georgia insists that, by law, the Georgian army is comprised of Georgian citizens only. The Polish government has lashed out at Russian ‘imperialism‘following yesterday’s attack on the president’s motorcade in SouthOssetia, for which Russia denies responsibility. The Czech Republic -and its pro-Putin president Vaclav Klaus – are about to assume the rotating presidency of the European Union.
British anti-surveillance experts have removed a ‘garish red and yellow‘ electric teapot from the Queen’s holiday home. It was suspected that the samovar, a gift from Russia from 20 years ago, could contain a ‘listening device‘. The ‘chaotic‘ murder trial of Anna Politkovskaya will reopen today, a week earlier than expected.
PHOTO: Peru’s President Alan Garcia, left, and Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev laugh after making a toast, with Pisco Sour, a traditional Peruvian drink, during a ceremony at the government palace in Lima, Monday, Nov. 24, 2008. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)