RA’s Daily Russia News Blast – Nov 27th, 2008

271108.jpgTODAY: Medvedev calls for BRIC summit; presidential term amendment approved; Politkovskaya judge to stay; the Kremlin’s sway over history; Rogozin slams US over NATO fast-track suggestion.

Dmitry Medvedev’s high profile trip to Latin America yesterday saw the Russian president in Brazil, calling for a summit of the major emerging market BRIC economies.  The constitutional amendment to extend the presidential term from four years to six, first proposed by Medvedev in his state-of-the-nation address just three weeks ago, has been approved by the Federal Council.  The fact that the Kremlin ‘almost always gets what it wants […] might be acceptable during stable times, but not during a global financial crisis that is snowballing out of control‘, says the Moscow Times.

The judge presiding over the Anna Politkovskaya murder trial yesterday refused a call from the prosecution to step down from the case.  Andrei Lugovoi to replace Vladmir Zhironovsky as head of the LDPR party?  Ukraine insists that its move to strengthen troop numbers along its borders is a measure against ‘all foreign states‘, not Russia alone.

Historians attempting to study sites of Stalin’s purges are having difficulty accessing the material they need, a case study of the Putin-era Kremlin’s tendencyto maintain as much sway over the portrayal of history as over the governing of the country‘.  NATO envoy Dmitry Rogozin has slammed the US’ suggestion that Georgia and Ukraine could bypass the preparatory Membership Action Plan.  Russian officials are reportedly urging the administration of US president-elect Barack Obama to engage Iran diplomatically as a means of resolving disputes over its nuclear program.  

PHOTO: Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev, right, and Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez, react, during a welcome ceremony at Miraflores palace in Caracas, Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2008. (AP Photo/ RIA Novosti, Dmitry Astakhov, Presidential Press Service)