RA’s Daily Russian News Blast – May 25, 2009

PH2009052401408.jpgTODAY: No resolution at EU-Russia summit; Putin warns against outside interference in dealings with Ukraine; Lavrov encourages dialogue with Hamas; Kremlin concerned by OSCE appointment; the activities of Patriarch Kirill

Reuters reports that Russia’s ambassador to the UN has announced that the Security Council will hold an emergency meeting to discuss North Korea’s underground nuclear missile test, about which Russia has concerns.  According to the Times, relations between the EU and Russia have ‘worsened’ as a lack of agreement on major issues blighted the end of their summit.  The Financial Times examines why the ice in Khabarovsk refused to melt.  Paraphrasing Kremlin patriot Anton Denikin whilst visiting his grave, Prime Minister Putin has warned against intervention in Russia-Ukraine relations as ‘they have always been the business of Russia itself’.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has espoused the importance of overcoming the ‘dangerous pause in the negotiations’ on the Middle East and maintaining contacts with Hamas inparticular.  A New York Times commentator argues that the reset is not sufficient for a turnaround in US-Russia relations.  Human rights are of growing concern in Washington’s foreign policy but will the price of democracy prove too high in negotiating with Russia? asks Jeffrey Gedmin in the New York Times.  The Kremlin is angered by the OSCE’s appointment of a Russian citizen to lead its observor mission in the imminent European Parliament elections, complaining that ‘an international organization appoints a citizen of one of its member states without asking permission from that state’s representatives’.

The controversial bill to reform the way in which the President of the Constitutional Court is selected has been passed by the State Duma.  An op-ed contributor in the Moscow Times looks at Medvedev’s penchant for ‘commissions’ – are the sum of his reforms really only the tally of investigative bodies he has established?

The Vatican has consecrated the first parish of the Moscow Patriarchate in Rome.  Patriarch Kirill has celebrated his name day and revealed an unexpected sympathy with Russian bikers.

PHOTO: Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and his wife, Lyudmila, meet Russian Orthodox patriarch Kirill in the Christ the Savior cathedral in Moscow, May 24, 2009.  (AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Alexei Nikolsky, Pool)