RA’s Daily Russian News Blast – March 10, 2010


TODAY: Swedish Prime Minister in Moscow visit; Medvedev on expanding information presence of CIS states; police to receive moral and psychological support as more misconduct stories break; the failure of the four I’s; rock veteran criticizes government; START treaty still lagging.
Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt visited Moscow this week, where President Dmitry Medvedev accused his country of sheltering suspected militants from the North Caucasus.  But the fact that the two met at all is a sign that relations are improving, says the Moscow Times.  Medvedev wants to expand the ‘information presence‘ of the CIS states within Russia: ‘When we are concerned with the status of Russian language in neighboring countries we should certainly look at ourselves. How do we treat the Ukrainian language in the territory of Russia, for example?‘  As part of a package of ‘moral and psychological support‘, Russia’s police force are to be treated to recreational activities such as museum excursions and concerts, in an attempt to ‘prevent them from losing their cool and breaking the law‘.  The news comes as more stories breaks about police misconduct – one about police using civilian drivers as human shields, and another about officials raping and beating inmates

To sum up Medvedev’s Four I’s,writes Vladimir Ryzhkov, ‘institutions are corrupt to the core, the infrastructure is falling apart, the country’s homegrown innovators are abandoning Russia in droves, and investment is evaporating.‘  Russian rock veteran Yury Shevchuk used the stage as a platform for protest over the weekend, criticizing those ‘feeding themselves on power‘, and calling for Russia’s musicians to lead ‘a revolution of the soul,‘ reports RFE/RL.  
Russia and the US have not yet signed a replacement START treaty, but President Barack Obama is reportedly eager to showcase a finished deal at a nonproliferation summit in April – apparently, the draft treaty is finished, and negotiators now are preparing the document that ‘spells out the details‘.  Would a visit from US General David Petraeus to the Kyrgyzstan military air base ‘irritate Moscow‘?
PHOTO: Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev talks to Sweden’s Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt as they meet in Moscow’s Kremlin March 9, 2010. REUTERS/Alexander Natruskin