Whilst a thaw in US-Russia relations is indispensable, there remain ‘core disagreements’ on certain subjects, Barack Obama has reportedly commented. As long as a threat is posed by Iran, the US will continue to develop its Russian-opposed anti-missile defense, says the Moscow Times. An op-ed piece by Richard Lourie argues that a transparent, cooperative Iran is not in Russia’s interests. At the NATO summit, the organization appealed to Russia for cooperation, but the issue of troops in Georgia is unresolved and the choice of Danish Prime Minister, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, as NATO Secretary-General may complicate matters, as he is ‘little-loved in Russia’. Rossia TV has broadcast a documentary accusing the US of spying from the Manas air base in Kyrgyzstan.
Moldovans await the results of the election to replace President Vladimir Voronin, who seeks an alternative high-powered position, following the example of Vladimir Putin. ‘Irritation’ is apparently the reaction felt by Russia over the delay in joining the World Trade Organization, but the Kremlin is, nonetheless, ‘ready for cooperation’. In a joint statement, Dmitry Medvedev and the President of Chile, Michelle Bachelet, have espoused the importance of the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean. There has been telephone dialogue between Hilary Clinton and Sergei Lavrov over the controversial North Korean missile launch, says Ria Novosti.
The Moscow Times reports that Russia will not extradite Deputy Adam Delimkhanov whom police in Dubai wish to arrest for the assassination of Sulim Yamadayev. ‘Doesn’t this disturb you?’ is the question asked by chairman of the Memorial Human Rights Society, Sergei Kovalev, in an open letter to President Medvedev, reprinted here, describing the recent crescendo of political violence. A Communist Party rally drew disputed numbers of people onto the streets of Moscow. The Washington Post examines the strengthening of the Russian Orthodox Church. Gazprom may spend up to $2 billion on the Winter Olympics, says Bloomberg. Anastasia Volochkova is out of the Sochi election.
PHOTO: People hold placards during a demonstration by Russian communists denouncing the government’s anti-crisis measures in Moscow, April 4, 2009. The placards read: ‘Socialism is the future of the world!’ and ‘The USSR is our home’. REUTERS/Thomas Peter