TODAY: G8 Summit commences, missile defense stalemate, WTO accession, Libya; Saakashvili blames Russia for demonstrations; Yabloko leader arrested; Navalny sues over fraud case; Khodorkovsky cell-mate describes forced attack; Islamic Cultural Center closes; village evacuated after military fires.
Meeting on the sidelines of the G8 Summit, President Dmitry Medvedev and U.S. President Barack Obama agreed to continue talks on missile defense
with a view to solving the problem ‘maybe in 2020
‘. Both leaders are pushing for Russia’s WTO accession
. Russia says that its G8 partners asked it to mediate in and help resolve the Libya crisis
, although it was unclear what form such mediation would take, and one non-Russian diplomat implied that no such request had been made. The Telegraph is liveblogging
the summit. Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili is blaming Russia
for violent demonstrations (click for video
) in Tbilisi, which were ended by riot police, saying that ‘our occupiers
‘ sought to ‘cause sabotage and mass disorder
‘. Police in Moscow have detained Sergei Mitrokhin
, the leader of the Yabloko party, during a protest held outside the Ministry of Economic Development to draw attention to a 34% increase in mandatory insurance fees for small businesses.
Corruption whistleblower Alexei Navalny is suing the Investigation Committee
for failing to officially inform him of the reopening of a fraud case against him. ‘A suspect has the right to know what he’s being suspected of exactly.
‘ Alexander Kuchma, a former prisoner and cell-mate of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, admitted in a television interview that he was forced to carry out an attack
on the former Yukos head: but the interview was not broadcast, and he now fears for his life. It is thought that the Supreme Court ruling to close the Islamic Cultural Center was politically charged
, with members apparently pressured by the F.S.B. ahead of the ruling.
PHOTO: President Dmitry Medvedev, center, embracing French President Nicolas Sarkozy while walking with U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday at the start of the G8 summit in Deauville, France. (Larry Downing / Reuters)