RA’s Daily Russia News Blast – Oct 9, 2008

091008.jpg TODAY: Medvedev calls for ban on use of force; opponents criticize anti-corruption measures; Lavrov calls for Georgia embargo; Soviet brand names, ‘Evil Empire’. President Dmitry Medvedev spoke at the World Policy Conference in Evian, calling for a ban on the use of force in Europe, asking the world to ‘study the new Russia’, and insisting that his country is ‘absolutely not interested in confrontation.’ Read a translation of some of his speech here. He also took the opportunity to accuse the US of undermining international security. The financial crisis? One journalist suggests that the Kremlin is employing the tactic: ‘If we don’t report it, it didn’t happen.’ Opponents of the new proposed anti-corruption measures argue that they ‘would increase the FSB’s ability to conduct criminal investigations with less oversight.’ How will the Kremlin cope without its pharmacy?

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has reiterated a call for a ban on the sale of offensive weapons to Georgia. Georgia wants more Russian troops to leave its territory, and has issued a new deadline. Reports indicate that the humanitarian situation in Georgia remains poor.Soviet brand names are apparently making a comeback. Modernization of the armed forces to 2012 will include cuts of over 100,000 soldiers. The Moscow Times has picked up on the US presidential debate’s responses to a question about Russia as an ‘Evil Empire’. Happy Birthday, Vladimir Putin.PHOTO: French President Nicolas Sarkozy speaks with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in Evian. (AFP/POOL/Mikhail Klimentyev)