RA’s Daily Russian News Blast – April 14, 2010


TODAY: Medvedev commits to close plutonium reactor at Washington nuclear summit and pledges to push for Iran sanctions as nuclear powers; Kyrgyz officials in Moscow; poll suggests Russians value order over democracy; judges seek police protection; FSB announces terror moves; US adoption issues.
US President Barack Obama, speaking at Washington’s two-day nuclear summit, said that Russia’s $2.5 billion plan to close the last of its plutonium-based civil reactors ‘demonstrate[s] Russia’s leadership on nuclear security issues‘ (click for video). The summit also saw Ukraine agree to get rid of its stockpile of weapons-grade uranium.  President Dmitry Medvedev offered several soundbites during his US visit: Russia needs several decades to develop effective political and economic systems; Kyrgystan is on the verge of possible civil war and could become ‘a second Afghanistan‘; claims that Stalinism is on the rise are exaggerations; Russia is counting on the US to support its entry to the World Trade Organization, which should be swift and ‘without humiliation‘.  Medvedev also said that he would ‘push as hard as I can‘ on a new sanctions regime against Iran.  The provisional government of Kyrgyzstan is meeting officials for talks in Moscow today.  ‘Kyrgyzstan is much more important for US-Russian relations than arms control, which is an agenda of the past,‘ suggested a US editor.

A new VTsIOM poll suggests that Russians value order over democracy.  The director of Russia’s Federal Security Service says that authorities have killed or arrested 40 people involved in last November’s Nevsky Express train bomb, determined the identities of the suicide bombers who attacked the Moscow metro last month, and already prevented 10 terrorist attacks this year.  More than 10 federal judges and members of the Investigative Committee are seeking police protection since the shoothing of Moscow City Court judge Eduard Chuvashov. 
Despite Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s comment that this week’s US-Russia adoption fiasco was ‘the last straw‘ and threat to suspend all adoptions to American families, the Moscow Times predicts that the Kremlin won’t turn adoption into a political issue.  American adoption advocates meanwhile are urging Russia not to freeze adoptions.  Meanwhile Torry Hansen, the American adoptive mother who returned her Russian son to Moscow on his own, is facing charges.  
On the practices of Russia’s Orthodox Jews
PHOTO: US President Barack Obama waves as he stands in front of Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev during a group photo session at the Nuclear Security Summit 2010 in Washington, April 13, 2010. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque