TODAY: Ukraine’s government collapses, Yushchenko accuses Russia of stirring tensions; Asian displeasure shows in Georgia loan; Russia in Venezuela again; arms exports, contemporary art. Following disagreements over how to address Russia in the wake of the Georgian war, Ukraine’s government has, by many accounts ‘collapsed’, with the president and prime minister at odds and another parliamentary election on the cards. President Yushchenko has accused Russia of trying to destabilize his country. Ukraine may be ‘the main battleground in the impending geopolitical confrontation’, but what of the other former Soviet states? In a sign of Asian displeasure at Russia’s attack on Georgia and recognition of the breakaway states, the Asian Development Bank, which includes China and Kazakhstan, has extended a $40 million loan at the lowest possible rate to Georgia. International ceasefire monitors will not be able to operate in South Ossetia without the breakaway region’s permission.
Bolivia may ask Russia to help pay for its counter-narcotics program if the US does not come through. Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin is in Venezuela further strengthening economic ties.Read a summary of some of Russia’s recent arms exports in Burma and Sudan. On the opening of Garage, Moscow’s new contemporary art space.PHOTO: Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin seen at a meeting on eliminating consequences of the armed conflict in South Ossetia in Moscow, Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2008. (AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Alexei Nikolsky, Pool)