TODAY: How damning OCSE report on Caucasus rights record received Russian backing; Nashi youth camp for region; Nemtsov takes Luzhkov complaint to Strasbourg; Medvedev’s first meeting with Obama puts politics back on the agenda after innovation sojourn in Silicon Valley; Russia attempting to control future of Manas air base through fuel?; another boost for Khodorkovsky. President looks for list of wayward officials; ambassador says Russia-Britain relations restricted by extradition refusals; sad metro stop
Ellen Barry reports today on Russia’s unlikely backing of the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly’s resolution, which calls the North Caucasus that with ‘the most serious and most delicate human rights situation in the whole of Europe’. The Moscow Times reports that the region will host a new Nashi youth camp in a government attempt to try to polish the image of the region in advance of the 2014 Olympics. Human Rights Watch has some stark reports back from restive Kyrgyzstan. A Denis MacShane op-ed suggests the OSCE needs dusting off. Opposition leader Boris Nemtsov has filed a complaint at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg against a Moscow court decision in favor of the city’s mayor Yuri Luzhkov. James Sherr offers the BBC an analysis of Medvedev’s first visit to the US. Having dined with governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in California, Medvedev will now head to Washington where he is likely to receive a ‘warm welcome’ says RFE/RL, and where the focus of his visit will turn to politics: START ratification, counternarcotics and Kyrgyzstan. ‘Complex security concerns’ will remain on the otherwise amicable agenda, the Washington Post reports. Mark Medish in the International Herald Tribune wonders how Russia will position itself geo-politically in coming years. The Economist has a graph illustrating trends in what the US and Russia have thought of each other over the past decade. The Telegraph suggests that Russia is attempting to use fuel supplies to Manas to restrict the longevity of the base.
Doubts linger in today’s media over the possibility of modernization without political reform: ‘The road to a Russian Silicon Valley starts not in California, Mr. President. It begins with unlocking the door to Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s jail cell’. Industry and Trade Minister Viktor Khristenko has seconded GermanGref’s doubts about the legitimacy of the charges against the Yukos founder, bytestifying that he had no knowledge of embezzlement taking place at the company.
A court has upheld the right of Russians who hold residence permits in other countries to work in Russian elections. Dmitry Medvedev has asked the government to draw up a list of officials who have been punished for not executing orders. New appointments: Medvedev has nominated Vladimir Popovkin as first deputy defense minister and Sergei Karakayev as commander of the strategic nuclear missile forces. Yuri Fedotov, Russia’s ambassador to Britain, has told the Telegraph that Britain’s ‘harboring of criminals’ remains a sticking point in relations.
Moscow’s Dostoevskay metro station has finally opened: complaints about its gloomy murals continue to be voiced.
PHOTO: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev with Californian Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. (RIA Novosti. Sergey Guneev)