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RA’s Daily Russian News Blast – Dec 7, 2010

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TODAY: Medvedev’s Polish meet is successful; EU-Russia talks to focus on WTO accession; new WikiLeaks reveal secret NATO plans to protect Baltic States; media control originates in poor profitability?; Putin’s United Russia comments contradict Medvedev’s state-of-the-nation address?; Glonass to be probed after crash.
Following a ‘breakthrough‘ meeting with the Polish Prime Minister in which the two sides pledged to continue improving ties and Dmitry Medvedev promised to open archives on the Katyn massacre, the President will attend EU talks today.  The meeting is expected to produce approval for Russia’s World Trade Organization bid, although disagreements over the question of Transdnestr could prove an obstacle to discussions on forming a Security Committee.  According to new WikiLeaks, NATO drew up secret plans earlier this year to defend the Baltic states against Russia.  Other documents offer ‘insights‘ into Russian security service heads, says the Washington Post, although this one in particular contains comments from a senior diplomat about security heads he had yet to meet.

Media control is not just confined to the Kremlin, but spreads into regional government and big business, partly thanks to the elusiveness of media business profitability, says this piece.  It seems that Russia’s free newspapers, published by Swedish-based Metro International, are currently the best-read dailies in the country.  Will the successful World Cup bid inspire Russia to ‘clean up its reputation‘ as a corrupt and difficult market?  Vladimir Putin’s comments at yesterday’s United Russia meeting about political competition were a contradiction of President Dmitry Medvedev’s recent criticism of the ‘stagnating‘ political climate, observes the Moscow Times.  This is another sign of partnership, suggests one analyst: ‘Medvedev makes more abstract statements aimed at the West, while Putin directly addresses the elites inside the country.‘ 
A probe will be made into the weekend crash of a rocket that was carrying three Glonass satellite systems, which cost a reported $2 billion over the previous decade.  Perhaps unsurprisingly, a lawsuit against the Russian government seeking usage rights to the Kremlin has been thrown out
PHOTO: Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev speaks at the forum of Polish-Russian social dialog at Palace on the Water in Lazienki Park in Warsaw December 6, 2010. REUTERS/Wojciech Olkusnik/Agencja Gazeta