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RA’s Daily Russian News Blast – July 30, 2009

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TODAY: Russia-leaning communists toppled in Moldova; tit for tat diplomacy on Ukrainian diplomat spat.  Russia seeks second base in Kyrgyzstan; Georgia war report delayed.  Space officials complain about US shuttle jet lag.  Solzhenitsyn’s widow anti-propaganda.

President Medvedev is expected to wield Russian influence in Dushanbe today at a security summit with the leaders of Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan.   Ria-Novosti reports that Tajikistan wants Russia to begin paying for use of a military base on its territory and demands that Russian border guards leave.  Kyrgyzstan has agreed to accommodate a second Russian military base in the country’s southern region.  It looks like pro-Western opposition parties have unseated the ruling Communist government in Moldova.  As President Voronin voted he expressed his belief in a Communist victory and said, ‘I believe that Russia, in these difficult days that our country has had to live through, acted as the most sincere, most devoted friend’According to an exit poll Communists garnered 41% of the vote, which would give them only 48 seats in the 101-member parliament, down a fifth on April’s elections results.  It looks like liberal and pro-NATO parties have won almost 54% of the vote and intend to create a wide coalition.


Russia has taken exception to a statement from Belarus, which, according to diplomats, recognizes the states of South Ossetia and Abkhazia as falling under Georgian federal law.  A European Union report analyzing the causes of last year’s war in Georgia has been delayed by two months because of the late arrival of important documents.  Despite a recent threat of sanctions from Russia, Ukrainian contracts to sell weaponry to Georgia will be fulfilled.  The Moscow Times says however that, ‘Russia appears to be in no hurry to carry out the threat’.  Following Ukraine’s expulsion of a Russian diplomat, condemned by the Foreign Ministry as one of several ‘openly anti-Russian actions’, the Kremlin has ordered the expulsion of a Ukrainian diplomat and the recalling of its consul general in St. Petersburg. 

A Russian space official has complained that the unpredictability of US shuttle launches to the International Space Station is putting an extra financial strain on Russian resources.  The widow of writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn has opposed Putin using the word ‘propaganda’ when describing the portrayal of Soviet life presented in ‘The Gulag Archipelago‘.  Aeroflot has an interesting interpretation of how best to ‘modernize’ its services.

PHOTO: A protester from the Our Moldova Alliance party holds up a sign reading “No Fraud” in front of the election commission headquarters in Chisinau, Moldova Monday July 27, 2009.  The ruling Communist Party appears to have been beaten by pro-NATO, West-leaning parties.  (AP Photo/John McConnico)