RA’s Daily Russian News Blast – September 14, 2009

p7.jpgTODAY: Putin looming over Presidency – 2012 return?; Chavez to have missiles and $2 billion credit line; Senator refused visa to Canada.  Crackdown on alcohol begins with big bottles; human rights group faces shutdown on disputed grounds.  Toy shop menaced; Russian remnants in California to disappear too?

In 2012 we shall think together and take into account the realities of the time, our personal plans, the political landscape…and we will take a decision’:  Putin hints at a return to the Presidency at a Valdai discussion group of Russia experts.  Bloomberg suggests that Putin has ‘left the door considerably more open than we expected’ regarding 2012.  The Guardian foresees a septagenarian Putin in power.  ‘Analysts point out that if Putin does not run in 2012, by which time he will be 59, he is arguably out of politics for good‘, says the Independent.  ‘How much of a team he and Mr Medvedev really are is still not easy to read‘ suggests a comment piece in the Guardian.  ‘Is Medvedev on his own?‘ wonders Vladimir Frolov in the Moscow Times.  The Moscow Times has on overview of the issues breached by Putin at the lunch, including a lack of progress in relations with the US. Putin has also lamented European governments’ quickness to distrust the Russian bear’, evinced in particular by the recent Opel dealings.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has said that Russia will deliver short-range missiles to Caracas; Bloomberg reports that Moscow will offer the Chavez regime $2.2 billion in credit for Russian arms.  Senator Mikhail Margelov has been refused a visa to Canada.  Israel’s deputy prime minister, Dan Meridor, has confirmed that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did visit Russia last week. 

Russia’s ambassador to Afghanistan has advised NATO commanders not to bring more troops to the country, as it will only intensify the conflict.  The Russian military has refuted claims that a secret ultrafuturistic tank has been developed by the armed forces. 

The Washington Post analyses how Moscow will regain a foothold in Ukraine.  The Ukrainian President has accused the Kremlin of harboring the men he suspects of poisoning him when he ran for office five years ago.
The Committee for Human Rights is facing closure on somewhat tenuous grounds.  Russia will consider banning half-liter bottles and cans of low alcohol drinks to reduce dizzying consumption rates.  Children’s paradise and Moscow architectural gem Detsky Mir appears to be under threat.  Is a piece of Russian history in California facing the axe wielded by a certain cash-strapped governator?
PHOTO: Prime Minister Vladimir Putin meeting with the Valdai discussion group at his Novo-Ogaryovo residence, September 11, 2009.  (Alexei Nikolsky / RIA-Novosti / Reuters)