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RA’s Daily Russian News Blast – Feb 5, 2010

TODAY: Sweden wants explanation on 1990s waste dumping; Russian military base to be stationed in Serbia? Kremlin still pushing for European security treaty; Medvedev weighs in on Rechnik dispute; Gorbachev on Afghanistan; Ukraine tense ahead of Sunday elections.  Russian architect David Sarkisyan dies.
The Swedish government is demanding an explanation on an alleged 1990s dumping of nuclear waste into the Baltic Sea (now one of the most polluted in the world) by the Russian military, and the apparent collusion of Sweden’s then-government in the matter.  Allegations that Russia is planning to built a military base in Serbia ‘reflect Balkan hysteria, not reality,‘ says The Economist.  The Kremlin apparently has not given up hope on the idea of a new European security treaty, snubbed last year by NATO – Sergei Lavrov  is planning to promote the treaty at this weekend’s Munich Security Conference.  President Dmitry Medvedev is now involved in the Rechnik demolition dispute, reportedly checking allegations that residents’ rights have been violated. Meanwhile, the Sokol district wonders whether it will be next.

Russia and the US are planning to boost their anti-drugs efforts in Afghanistan; former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev writes on Soviet engagement with the country in the late 1970s and early 1980s. David Sarkisyan, director of the Russian State Museum of Architecture and ‘one of the most significant figures on the Russian architectural scene,has died aged 62
The BBC is running a Q&A on the Ukrainian presidential elections.  With tensions running high ahead of Sunday’s final vote, the Moscow Times takes a look at Viktor Yanukovich’s criminal record.  
PHOTO: Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, left, and Chief of Russia’s Nanotechnology Agency Anatoly Chubais speak during their meeting in Moscow, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2010. (AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Alexei Druzhinin, Pool)