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

090908.jpgTODAY: Medvedev agrees troop pullout with Sarkozy, Russia to formally establish diplomatic relations with breakaway regions; Georgian conflict causes split in Ukraine’s government; what is the relationship between Nato and Russia? South Park deemed “extremist”. Following a meeting with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, President Dmitry Medvedev agreed to pull Russian troops from Georgian territory outside of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Checkpoints around the port of Poti will also be dismantled. Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili has “cautiously welcomed” the move. Meanwhile, Russia will formally establish diplomatic relations with the two breakaway regions today. This report says that Russia has been denying aid to Georgian villages. The lawyer representing Georgia in its human rights case against Russia in the International Court of Justice said a distinction should be drawn between destruction resulting from the fighting and a systematic campaign against ethnic Georgian civilians. A dispute over Russia’s actions in Georgia has caused a split between Ukraine’s president and prime minister, with the former accusing the latter of treason.

Is a resurgent Russia providing Nato with its 21st century role? Or was buffering Russia the whole point of Nato to begin with? Mikhail Gorbachev says Nato’s aim is to isolate Russia.Russian investigators have filed a motion to try to ban the cartoon South Park, saying that it “bore signs of extremist activity” and promoted “hatred between religions”.PHOTO: France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy and Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev meet at a presidential residence outside Moscow, September 8, 2008. REUTERS/RIA Novosti/Kremlin/Dmitry Astakhov