Russia 110419 Basic Political Developments

Deputy Speaker: Georgia not to change its position regarding Russia's accession into WTO

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Deputy Speaker: Georgia not to change its position regarding Russia's accession into WTO
19.04.2011 11:10


Georgia, Tbilisi, April 19 / Trend, N. Kirtskhalia /

Georgia's position regarding Russia's accession into the WTO will not change, Georgian First Deputy Speaker Mikheil Machavariani said.

The Georgian side’s requirements in connection with Russia's WTO membership are based on the fundamental principles of this organization, Machavariani told reporters.

"We are in talks with Russia based on the norms of the WTO charter. These norms envisage the coincidence with economic borders and customs checkpoints. At this stage Russia does not meet any rule, at the same time Georgian products are banned on the Russian market only because they are Georgian products," Machavariani said.

He said that the politicization of Russia’s WTO membership will not happen.

Russia has been seeking WTO membership since 1993. The main obstacle for Russia's accession is Georgia's position, which left the negotiation process on Russia’s accession into the WTO in late April 2008 in protest against the Russian President’s orders to lift economic sanctions against Abkhazia and South Ossetia. There are no diplomatic relations between Russia and Georgia. They were severed after the 2008 war and recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia by Moscow.

Georgia demands Russia return Pirosmani's painting

Georgia, Tbilisi, April 19 / Trend N.Kirtzkhalia /

The Georgian Prosecutor General’s Office intends to demand the return of Niko Pirosmani’s painting "Black Lion" from Russia, Georgian Deputy Chief Prosecutor David Sakvarelidze said.

"We will demand that the painting be returned to Georgia through the Swiss Embassy," he said.

The Georgian law enforcement bodies report that the painting was stolen from the family of Apolon Kutateladze in 1993. Kutateladze was the rector of the Art Academy in the last decade of the 20th century. ‘Black Lion’ has been included on the international wanted list since 2010.

Acting Head of the Russian Federal Culture Agency Viktor Petrakov confirmed that the painting exhibited at the Russian Antiques Salon in Moscow was indeed stolen, but then legally purchased from the artist's family. He said that they have copies of all of the documents.

The painting was exhibited for three days. After the scandal it was removed and returned to the owner, whose name was not disclosed.

April 19, 2011 11:44

Some foreign states fail to execute Russian legal aid requests - top investigator

MOSCOW. April 19 (Interfax) - The director of the Russian Investigative Committee, Alexander Bastrykin, has criticized a number of foreign countries for delaying the execution of international legal assistance requests, or even refusing to implement such requests altogether.

"A large number of our applications have not been executed or have been executed partially," Bastrykin told Russian Foreign Ministry employees.

"Such a situation can be observed with our requests forwarded, for example, to the British Virgin Islands, Gibraltar, the Republic of Cyprus, the Isle of Man and a number of other states," he said.

The Investigative Committee's analysis of the results of the execution of legal assistance requests sent to foreign countries regarding criminal cases currently being handled by the committee "has shown that it takes these states from six months to two years to implement the requests, which is quite a long period of time," Bastrykin said.

The committee's work "requires cooperation with diplomatic representative offices abroad, as well as additional efforts primarily aimed at reducing the time of implementing international legal aid applications and improving the quality of their execution," he said.

Recently the number of such requests has grown seriously, the official said.

In 2010 the Russian Investigative Committee forwarded 538 legal assistance requests to foreign countries.

Russia, for its part, executed 602 legal aid requests received from other states.

Russian investigators traveled abroad 87 times last year to collect evidence in different criminal cases.


Bout's defense appeals his trial in the United States
05:19 19/04/2011

Lawyers for alleged Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, held in a U.S. prison on conspiracy charges, have lodged an appeal on the illegality of their client's prosecution in the United States.

The appeal claims, in particular, that the U.S. government does not have jurisdiction to consider criminal cases over the offences that have been committed outside the U.S.

The prosecutors must reply to the 50-page document, submitted on Monday, within two weeks.

Former Soviet military officer Bout was arrested in Thailand in March 2008 during a sting operation led by U.S. agents. He was extradited to the United States in November, 2010, after spending more than two and half years in Thai prisons.

Bout, 44, is being held in a New York prison while he awaits trial in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in October on charges including conspiring to supply arms to terrorist groups and kill U.S. nationals. He denies all the charges against him.

The alleged arms dealer, dubbed "The Merchant of Death," could face anything from 25 years to life in prison if convicted.

The U.S. authorities have allegedly asked another Russian citizen, cargo pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko who is held in the United States on drug trafficking charges, to testify against Bout in exchange for a milder sentence and even a possible U.S. citizenship.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency arrested Yaroshenko in Liberia last May. Four metric tons of cocaine were seized in the bust.

NEW YORK, April 19 (RIA Novosti)


Yury Dolgoruky to be ready for Bulava trials by start of navigation season - Sevmash


Kucherena and Resnik to certificate MUP

Last Updated: Tuesday, April 19, 2011, 07:01 GMT 11:01 MCK
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has included in the committee on recertification MUP members of the Public Chamber.
The commission included a lawyer Anatoly Kucherena and chairman of the Public Council under the Ministry of Internal Affairs Minister Ilya Reznik.
Last month, human rights activists have filed a complaint with the Russian Supreme Court, requesting to include in the committee of representatives of civil society.
According to human rights, such a commission when its members are the only employees of state agencies, contrary to the Constitution and federal laws.


Kommersant: the brother of Maryam Sharipova killed in Dagestan

Last Updated: Tuesday, April 19, 2011, 03:53 GMT 07:53 MCK
One of the four militants killed on Monday was identified as the relative of the bomber Maryam Sharipova, the Kommersant newspaper reported.
Earlier, the National Antiterrorism Committee said that during a special operation in Dagestan one of the militant leaders in the North Caucasus Israpil Validzhanov was killed, who was on the federal wanted list since 2006.
On Monday night, investigators previously identified the second dead militants as Magomed Adalaev brother of the bomber that blew herself up at the metro station Lubyanka in March last year.
Identity of the two other militants that were killed has not yet been established.

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