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RA’s Daily Russia News Blast – Sept 11, 2008

110908.jpgTODAY: International law society condemns Russia’s treatment of lawyers; Federation wants Georgia’s UN case thrown out; EU and US increasingly wary of growing Russia; Lavrov says peace deals are out of sync; young art collectors being encouraged; Russia discovers a glacial lake. The International Bar Association has spoken out against Russia’s “state-sponsored intimidation of lawyers” after lawyers working for Hermitage Capital had their offices raided. “When government agents interfere with the work of lawyers, it is not only the legal profession that is threatened, but the overall legal order in the state.” The Russian Federation is requesting that the International Court of Justice throw out the case being brought against it by Georgia over human rights violations. A survey carried out in Europe and the US reveals concern over Russia’s increasing power, and the first show of support for Nato as a safeguard of security since 2002. Sergei Lavrov’s temperature is rising over the new EU-Georgian peace deal because, he says, it contradicts the EU-Russian one. Two Russian strategic bombers have landed in Venezuela for training flights. Russia is intensifying rhetoric with Ukraine over the latter’s potential Nato membership. “We will never accept this.

The tendency to create more and more small states “imposes very high costs on the people who live there because the cost of government is very high,” says EU policy strategist Robert Cooper.Germany’s fight to retrieve art looted by the Soviet Trophy Commission after World War II is foundering. A Levada Center poll suggests that, if given the chance, Russians would re-elect Vladimir Putin over Dmitry Medvedev. An ancient, glacial lake spanning almost 500 miles has been discovered near the Ural Mountains. Russia’s art world is trying to encourage young collectors.PHOTO: Russian cosmonaut Yury Lonchakov steps out of a space capsule during a training session in the Star City space centre outside Moscow September 10, 2008. REUTERS/Sergei Remezov (RUSSIA)