RA’s Daily Russia News Blast – Sept 24, 2008

russia_nato.jpgTODAY: Russia’s permanent mission at NATO headquarters today stressed to cease slowing the work of the Russia-NATO council; Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez will sign an array of political and financial agreements and discuss the possibility of a joint Russian-Venezuelan bank; Russian technicians to help direct China’s first-ever spacewalk; Kremlin and the Parliament of Abkhazia ratify treaty. Russia’s permanent mission at NATO headquarters in Brussels urged the military alliance today to stop hindering the work of the Russia-NATO Council.“The Russia-NATO Council was formed as a mechanism for political dialogue on current and especially urgent issues of European security,” the Russian mission stated today.“We regret yet another display of capricious politics and call upon our partners to take this matter seriously”. Russian dignitaries strongly believe there is the sense of fragility in today’s system of European security and its failure to meet current threats and challenges.“In these circumstances, the discussion of a new model for European security is extremely urgent,” the statement went on to state. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez will sign a collection of political and financial agreements during his upcoming visit to Russia.

“During my upcoming visit to Russia we will launch a number of new political and financial projects,” Chavez told Venezuelan state television via telephone from Beijing.He said he planned to discuss with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, among other things, the possibility of creating a joint Russian-Venezuelan bank.Chavez added that the Russian naval presence in the Venezuelan waters serves the cause of peace, as had the recent flights along the South American coast from a Venezuelan airbase by Russian strategic bombers.Russian technicians will aid in directing China’s first-ever spacewalk this week, setting the stage for expanded cooperation between the sides, a spokesman for China’s space program said Wednesday.Two Chinese astronauts aboard the Shenzhou 7 spacecraft will don spacesuits for the maneuver, one of them a Russian-made Orlan model, Wang Zhaoyao told reporters at the Jiuquan launch site in northwestern China.“The successful cooperation on the Shenzhou 7 manned mission will create favorable conditions for future cooperation between our two countries,” Wang said, omitting further details.The parliament of Abkhazia, recognized by Moscow as an independent state on August 26, today ratified a treaty on friendship and cooperation with Russia.The Russian and Abkhazian leaders signed the treaty in Moscow on September 17. Under the pact, Russia has pledged to help the republic to protect its borders, and the signatories have granted each other the right to set up military bases in their respective territories.