Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has called a spate of Iranian missile tests ‘worrisome’ but has urged for ‘calm‘ in advance of the negotiations process. NATO envoy Dmitry Rogozin has said now that US missile defense looks to be based around cruisers, ‘under very bad circumstances’ there may be elements deployed in the Arctic. Tony Halpin in the Times argues the corner for Russia joining NATO. An op-ed piece in the Moscow Times suggests that despite the reset, anti-US sentiment is rife in Russia. President Medvedev has praised the purely ‘defensive’ joint Russia-Belarus Zapad 2009 war games.
‘Putin’s friends lost the election‘: the Moscow Times reports that Russian opposition activists are pleased to see the Social Democrats take a beating in Germany’s election. Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko has implored Russia to turn in the three people who he believes were responsible for his near-lethal poisoning, who he now believes are in Russia.
The New York Times says that the new EU-commissioned report on last year’s war between Russia and Georgia looks likely to apportion blame to both sides. The Guardian has a report on Georgia’s Irakli Alasania, the most likely replacement for Mikheil Saakashvili? Human Rights Watch has condemned Russia for disregarding rulings by the European Court of Human Rights on Chechnya, failing to bring perpetrators of violence to justice. A senior Dagestani official has been shot dead in Moscow.
Apparently Switzerland is ready to hand over more documents to Russian legal authorities regarding charges against exiled billionaire Boris Berezovsky. Mikhail Khodorkovsky has said that Russian prosecutors are hiding evidence that would de-incriminate him against new charges which would add 20 years more to his sentence. Former Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov is reportedly ready to stand as a witness at the ex-Yukos chief’s trial.
The Moscow Times reports that under new laws internet providers will be obligated to provide information to the state about its users. RFE/RL describes how the Kremlin is attempting to stave off accusations of ecological neglect in the construction of the Sochi Olympic facilities with leopards.
PHOTO: President Medvedev wore a naval forces jacket emblazoned with a badge reading D.A. Medvedev, commander of the military forces of the Russian Federation, at the ‘West-2009’ military exercises, September 28, 2009. (AFP)