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RA’s Daily Russian News Blast – Oct 14, 2010

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TODAY: British Foreign Secretary seeks to mend ties in Moscow; Prosecutor General acknowledges that corruption is not lessening; Fedotov to try to solve Strategy 31 conflict; Germany’s recovery throws Russia into relief; IOC satisfied with Sochi preparations; no sex before marriage, salad worms.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague is in Russia, seeking to strengthen ties and indicating that the UK government ‘wanted a business and trade driven partnership with the Kremlin‘ despite ‘serious differences‘ including the question of Andrei Lugovoi.  Hague also met with Lev Ponomaryov to discuss ‘horrendous, Orwellian spying after activists‘.  Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says that Russia will cooperate with London on the Lugovoi case ‘on the basis of our laws‘.  The FT points out that the UK has made no move to lift its current travel sanctions for Russian officials, and the BBC has video footage of Hague speaking at the Kremlin.  Prosecutor General Yury Chaika says that an average Russian bribe is worth 30% more this year than last, criticizing the failure of officials in dealing effectively with corruption; Transparency International’s Yelena Pamfilova says at least it’s not just the public who are complaining.  Mikhail Fedotov, the Kremlin’s new human rights advisor and ‘former bureaucrat of the first order,‘ has promised to focus his attention on the authorities’ conflict with the Strategy 31 campaign.

Germany and Poland’s economic recoveries are drawing attention to Russia’s lack of progress, says the New York Times.  ‘Russian politics resembles a television sitcom,‘ says Vedomosti.  ‘Even though [Vladimir Putin] undoubtedly harbors aspirations to return to the presidency, and he is constitutionally entitled to do so, political calculations make this a hazardous enterprise,‘ says Richard Sakwa.  The International Olympic Committee says it is satisfied with work completed so far in preparation for the 2014 Sochi Olympics, but the World Anti-Doping Agency wants Russia to crack down on doping laboratories, although Moscow’s training camp is currently WADA approved. 
People who follow religious rules are the best employees‘: The Moscow Times has a profile of Vasily Boiko-Veliky, the employer who requires all of his ‘living in sin’ workers to be married.  A worm in a salad has sparked a little tiff between the Kremlin and the Governor of the Tver region. 
PHOTO: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev speaks with Foreign Secretary William Hague in his Gorki residence outside Moscow on October 13. (AFP/File/Mikhail Klimentyev)