RA’s Daily Russian News Blast – April 3, 2009

03:04:09.jpgTODAY: Reserve currency idea receives lukewarm reception at G20; cooperation with US on Afghanistan supply routes a possibility; Russia determining factor for NATO; troops remain in Georgia; Nashi activist held.

President Medvedev concurred with the other G20 leaders in approving a $1.1 trillion deal to fight the recession.  His reiteration of the proposal to create a new reserve currency was not met with enthusiasm, however, says the Moscow Times.  According to ITAR-TASS, Medvedev is ‘satisfied’ with Obama’s approach to the thorny issue of US missile defense.  Russia is willing to consider cooperating with the US on securing supply routes for troops fighting in Afghanistan, says Reuters.  Fyodor Lukyanov comments upon the ineluctable complexities of the ‘reset‘ as an ‘objective imbalance exists’, between Washington and Moscow.  NATO’s future relationship with Russia is a ‘critical element of 21st century security‘, writes the Secretary General of NATO, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, in the New York Times.  It has been reported that Russia has impelled North Korea to ‘show restraint‘ with regards to the state’s forthcoming rocket launch to ‘help allay the international community’s concerns‘, says Foreign Ministry spokesman, Andrei Nesterenko.

The New York Times reports upon Russian troops who remain in Georgia, contravening the terms of the formal ceasefire.  Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrei Nesterenko expressed the hope that domestic problems in Georgia can be resolved internally, obviating the need for external intervention.  He also said that Georgian President, Mikheil Saakashvili, ‘probably cherishes plans of revenge, and warned that the US should not sell weapons to the state as its rebuilds its military.  An article in the Economist examines the Tallin Security Conference and the possible pitfalls of US-Russian negotiations over former Soviet states.

The Economist also describes the ‘show trial’ of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, as ‘pivotal for Russian political life today‘.  It has been reported that a Nashi activist who tried to bribe Novaya Gazeta editors into publishing articles critical of the government and of Patriarch Kirill has been detained by police.  The Federal Migration Service says that it will impose more control over employers hiring foreign workers instead of Russians. 

PHOTO: An activist of the Rossiya Molodaya (Russia Young) movement stands in a mask depicting U.S. President Barack Obama during a demonstration in front of the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, April 2, 2009. Activists gathered to mark the meeting of Obama and Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev in London. REUTERS/Alexander Natruskin