RA’s Daily Russian News Blast – Oct 22, 2009

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TODAY: Iran willing to contemplate nuclear deal but will Tehran really give it the go-ahead?; arms contract ‘frozen’.  Time running out for state giants; Medvedev loses patience with oligarch corruption complaints.  Biden reassures Poland.  Communists still up in arms on election results.

The Moscow Times reports that Iranian negotiators are willing to contemplate a draft deal that would slow its production of nuclear weaponry by sending most of the material that it would need to Russia for processing . . . If Tehran approves it, that is.  The FT offers a less positive spin on the talks, which it suggests have ended in disarray, with Tehran ‘almost certain to reject a proposal’ of this kind.  Iran’s ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency has reportedly said that whilst agreements may be brokered with the US and France, Russia is the ‘main party’ involved.  Iran has apparently not, as of yet, paid Russia for its controversy-sparking advanced anti-aircraft missiles

Medvedev has stated that a number of state corporations must transform their legal status or will face closure, and asserted the need to combat graft.  The President has also has come down hard on complaints of corruption from oligarchs at the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, reports the New York Times.

Joe Biden has reassured Poland that the US has an ‘unwavering commitment’ towards the country, still sore after Obama’s turnaround on missile defense in Europe.  Donald K. Bandler and Jakub Kulhanek in the Moscow times offer a vision of how to improve Russia-NATO ties.  The Russia-NATO Council has begun regular consultations on practical cooperation between Russia and the alliance in Afghanistan.

We will not allow our votes to be stolen’, Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov has told the State Duma.  Returning to parliament after a week away in protest, the Party is demanding  that the Central Elections Commission chief and the leader of the Marii-El republic lose their jobs over the recent elections, and that ‘criminal elements’ be prevented from accessing office.  Konstantin Sonin suggests that the election was exemplary in terms of vote-rigging tactics here.  Is independent media survivor stalwart Ren TV losing its voice?

PHOTO:  A worker moving a domino piece that symbolizes a segment of the Berlin Wall in a Berlin warehouse.  Medvedev will join French President Nicolas Sarkozy, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for festivities marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov. 9, Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit said Wednesday. Thomas Peter / Reuter