RA’s Daily Russian News Blast – Dec 16, 2009


TODAY: NATO Secretary-General in Moscow; START treaty will not be signed this week; Browder praises Medvedev, Yakunin slams Browder; civic police force; Izvestia accused of extremism; children’s ombudsman highlights rights issues.
The Kremlin reportedly wants to discuss Dmitry Medvedev’s proposal for a European-Atlantic security treaty during today’s meetings with NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, ‘but with all due respect we think that the OSCE is the right place for this‘, says a senior NATO official.  The US has put a dampener on widespread speculation that a new START treaty would be signed with Russia this week in Copenhagen.  Hermitage Capital head Bill Browder praised Medvedev’s moves to pursue those responsible for Sergei Magnitsky’s death.  Russian Railways boss Vladimir Yakunin, speaking with the BBC, says that Russia is ‘sorry‘ about the death of Magnitsky, but questions Browder’s ‘integrity’ in criminalizing Russia.  ‘Maybe he was in a deep, deep concern that is personal, and then I can understand it, but you know, for a person of such level and such understanding, I don’t think it is quite acceptable.‘ 

Yulia Latynina on Russia’s civic police force: ‘In Russia, sexual maniacs in police uniforms are not so much exceptions as they are statistics.‘  
Izvestia, ‘one of Russia’s oldest and most prominent newspapers‘, has received a court warning over an article by United Russia Duma Deputy Sergei Markov that mentioned the leader of a banned organization.  Russian activists have had thousands of pamphlets ‘analyzing‘ a St Petersburg governor confiscated – by ‘unknown people‘.  
Russia’s first ever children’s ombudsman, appointed by Dmitry Medvedev, has ‘painted a grim picture‘ of Russia’s childrens’ rights, and is working to create a national center for missing and exploited children, with abduction and child pornography as main target issues.  ‘He did not say when the center would open.‘  A deputy from A Just Russia has submitted a bill to the Duma to restrict the sale and use of fireworks. 
PHOTO: Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev shakes hands with Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung as they meet in Moscow’s Kremlin, December 15, 2009. REUTERS/Ria Novosti/Kremlin/Dmitry Astakhov