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RA’s Daily Russia News Blast – Sept 16, 2008

160908.jpgTODAY: Nato demands that Russian troops leave Georgia; Russia building embassies, demanding observers in breakaway states; WTO membership no longer under question; Sevastopol navy base under scrutiny; Aeroflot to rebuild image. Nato is demanding that Russia withdraw fully from Georgia and remaining firm in its condemnation of the invasion, but continues to evade any solid promises on Georgian membership. The war of words over who started the war continues as Georgia releases new evidence. President Dmitry Medvedev is threatening the West over potential Caucasus conflict-related sanctions. The IMF has approved a Georgia’s $750 million loan. Russia is building embassies in South Ossetia and Abkhazia, and wants OSCE and European Union observers to be deployed there as soon as possible, as it is worried about terrorist attacks. Meanwhile, its army is apparently putting on a display of war trophies captured during the conflict.

Moscow is keen to keep its naval base in Sevastopol, despite growing Ukrainian ambivalence. Could unrest over Russia split Ukraine, or worse, lead to war? Russia has left off questioning joining the World Trade Organization, and is now focusing on achieving ‘acceptable terms‘ for membership.The reason why Russia will have trouble eliminating corruption? Law enforcement agencies themselves are built on corruption, meaning that ‘there is no one to solve it‘.Following the weekend’s crash that killed 88 people, Aeroflot ‘is considering an image-building campaign‘. The craft’s pilot was reportedlyacting strangely‘ before the crash. Russian television recently aired a documentary suggesting that 9/11 was an ‘inside job‘.PHOTO: A Russian marine stands guard next to the flag and emblem of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet at the fleet’s headquarters in the Ukrainian port city of Sevastopol, September 15, 2008. REUTERS/Denis Sinyakov (UKRAINE)