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RA’s Daily Russian News Blast – October 6, 2009

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TODAY: Iran uranium plan waiting to be concluded; Russia backs Serbia on Kosovo; Lavrov exit denied; Ingushetian cabinet out.  Ex-US Yukos unit to launch mammoth lawsuit; picketed journalist gets unlikely defender; UN says Russia should improve immigration policies; grave problem for Moscow

The Washington Post reports that Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has announced that an agreement between Tehran and six world powers to allow Russia to help enrich uranium for an Iranian reactor awaits finalizing.  ITAR-TASS says that the Foreign Ministry has denied rumors that Lavrov may resign.  The Foreign Minister has rebuffed questions about who truly runs Russia, Putin or Medvedev, at a press conference, where he answered, ‘you should not pit the Kremlin against the White House [the Russian government]’.  The President of Ingushetia, Yunus-Bek Yevkurov, has fired his government, claiming that they had done nothing to tackle the republic’s poverty and corruption problems.  Russia will apparently back Serbia’s case in UN court hearings on the legitimacy of Kosovo’s declaration of independence.  Moscow is considering loans to Serbia and to Bulgaria, but, according to the Moscow Times, not to Ukraine and Belarus, although the final $500 million tranche of a $2 billion loan to Minsk will be offered.


Bruce Misamore, the former finance director of a US-based subsidiary of Yukos, plans to sue the Russian government for $100 billion in the European Court for Human Rights, which would be the biggest sum in its history.  A Moscow court has rejected the second motion in two weeks to suspend the trial of terminally ill ex-Yukos vice president Vasily Aleksanyan.  The perils of plea-bargaining are analysed in the Moscow Times.   The number of persons deemed responsible for the Sayano-Shushenskaya hydropower plant disaster may apparently increase.

The Kremlin has called Nashi Youth activists picketing the house of journalist Alexander Podrabinek ‘irresponsible adventurists’ guilty of inciting hatred.  Amnesty has a new letter for President Medvedev on threats to journalists and rights workers.  The Moscow Times reports on the advent of radical animal activism in Russia.  A bill has been submitted to the State Duma proposing a crackdown on adults vending alcohol to minors.  Moscow City Hall has pledged to initiate a recycling program instead of implementing an unpopular plan to construct waste incinerators.  A UN report says that Russia needs to encourage migrant labor by improving the conditions for their welcome.  Putin’s restoring of xenophobia is the subject of an op-ed piece in the New York Times.

The final squeeze – how Moscow’s graveyards are reaching bursting point.

PHOTO: President Dmitry Medvedev speaks during a meeting marking Teacher’s Day celebrations at the Kremlin in Moscow, October 5, 2009. (REUTERS/Alexander Zemlianichenko/Pool)