Russia: Visa Time – Soon Onward To Israel!


This weekend (Sunday – Oct.5th) we leave for Israel. The tickets are bought, the dog has a sitter to spend a few weeks with. We are packing and getting all the mandatory necessities in order. The biggest necessity for me is to have about one month supply of my prescriptions for my heart. It is fun crossing the border with a small pharmacy! :) You have to explain to the whole world: I have heart problems and these pills are necessary.

They (not me) usually get nervous and get me on through when they realize that they do not want to do all the paper work involved with someone having a heart attack due to stress at the border crossing. I always say “Thank God for Nitro!” :)

Svet is so excited, this is one of the few countries that allow Russians to cross with out a visa. I think that is fantastic and truth is, any country that lets Americans in without a visa should let Russians in without a visa. Vietnam is close to no visa for Russians, so that looks like a good place to travel in the future. we have decided that visa restrictions are a factor in our travels. If the country has visa issues about Russia, then they really do not need our money. This visa issues are what keep us from traveling to Finland and Norway. Both countries treat Svet like she is second class person. :(

So when we get back from Israel we will be writing about getting my visa from the Russian Embassy in Israel!

This time we are going to cut cds of our pictures and also save the pictures on flash drives. We are not going to lose these pictures. (Knock on Wood!)

We will keep you updated before we leave…

Kyle & Svet

Russia: NASA will Pay their Bills!


‘Okay, Houston, we’ve had a problem here.’
John Swigert, Jr. and James Lovell who, with Fred Haise Jr., made up the crew of the US’s Apollo 13 moon flight used (almost) this phrase to report a major technical problem back to their Houston base.

The U.S. Congress has allowed NASA to make payments to Russia’s Space Agency, its main partner in the International Space Station. Lawmakers moved to adopt an amendment after warnings from NASA officials that American astronauts may lose access to the ISS in three years. NASA regards the results of the vote in Congress as a victory.

Congress agreed to change the 2000 Iran, North Korea and Syria Nonproliferation Act which prohibits the government from making payments to Russia related to the International Space Station, because of Russia’s sale of nuclear materials to Iran.

In November 2005, NASA got a waiver until the end 2011, allowing the space agency to pay for rides to the ISS on Russian Soyuz space craft. Since then NASA has sealed a number of contracts with Russia’s Space Agency worth almost $US 1 billion.

The exemption will now last until 2016. The timing is linked to NASA’s plans to get rid of its three shuttles in 2010 and redirect funds to Moon and Mars projects. A new spacecraft called Orion will only be ready by 2016 so the U.S. will need to use Russian Soyuz spaceships till then. (Link)

I can see Bush, Rice and Cheney jumping up and down over this one….

Kyle & Svet

comments always welcome.

I Wanna be a Hurricane! You can be a Hurricane too!


Tropical Storm Kyle Forms In the Atlantic.

Looks like a Bad, Tough Storm To Me! :)

I have mixed feelings about my name being used to name a possible Hurricane. I think that it is cool, but what happens if it turns into the storm of the century and destroys half the world. I would really feel bad then….

MIAMI, Florida (AP) — The National Hurricane Center says Tropical Storm Kyle has strengthened as it churns through the open Atlantic, south of Bermuda.

The storm’s maximum sustained winds have increased to 50 mph Thursday night. Forecasters say the storm could become a hurricane by Saturday as it moves north.

It’s centered about 555 miles south of Bermuda and is moving near 13 mph.

Forecasters expect the storm to continue moving north and strengthen over the next couple of days.

Kyle is the 11th named storm this season in the Atlantic. (Link)

So my wish is to be the baddest Hurricane that ever hit the earth, The Daddy of all Hurricanes. The Hurricane that stories will be written about for thousands of years….. (But no-one can die or be injured – sorta like a Hollywood movie that everyone lives through!)

Kinda a Catch-22…… My luck the Hurricane Kyle will sink the Bermuda Islands, push Cuba into Texas and send Florida to become part of Europe. (Ouch)

But according to the Weather People: Kyle is just going to become a Hurricane and head up to the New York and Maine area. (Oh well!)

I just saw a news report that Tropical Storm Kyle has killed 4 people in Puerto Rico. :(

Kyle & Svet

comments always welcome.

Russian News: September 26th, 2008!

Hot News!
RBC, 26.09.2008, Moscow 12:35:07.The Russian stock market is expected to recover fully by mid-October, experts told RBC TV today. Until the end of September, the market will likely continue a moderately downward trend, with certain stocks remaining highly volatile. The trade volume depends not only on margin lending that resumes now on the market, analysts say, but also on government support anticipated to begin October 1. Investors will not take any active steps until then, experts note, or until US Congress decisions have been announced. The oil sector is expected to be the most attractive for investment during the next three to four months. Although Gazprom and Rosneft are currently under pressure, their shares, as well as those of LUKoil and Surgutneftegas, are projected to become the Russian market’s best performers from October 1. In particular, analysts indicate that LUKoil is the most undervalued Russian company at the moment.

RBC, 26.09.2008, Moscow 11:59:46.The Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom expects Australia to ratify a nuclear cooperation agreement, a high-ranking source close to the sector told journalists today. Russia is of course interested in the ratification, the source said, adding however that it was of no great importance for the country’s nuclear industry. Russia and Australia are equally interested in cooperation, the source noted – the former in terms of the diversification of uranium supplies and the latter in terms of uranium sales diversification. Russia’s participation in uranium production in Australia, including an asset swap, was discussed as part of the agreement, the source pointed out.

RBC, 26.09.2008, Moscow 10:28:50.Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will meet today with his Venezuelan counterpart Hugo Chavez, who has arrived in Russia on a short working visit. The talks are to take place in Orenburg, where Chavez is scheduled to go after Moscow. During his visit to Russia, several bilateral agreements on energy, scientific, and technological cooperation are to be signed. The Russian and Venezuelan leaders are also expected to visit a military range close to Orenburg, where the final stage of a large-scale exercise will take place.

RBC, 25.09.2008, Samara 18:44:09.Russia’s potential WTO partners have lost interest in its entry into the organization, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin told leaders of the Agrarian Party in the Samara region today. He noted that WTO member states had apparently lost motivation to accept Russia. The country fulfills all commitments even without being a WTO member, Putin stressed, so there is actually no need for them to allow it to join the organization. He pointed out that Russia’s partners had to realize that the process of entry to the WTO was not easy and that concessions were necessary from both sides.

RBC, 25.09.2008, Samara 17:55:23.Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin believes that the government and the Central Bank’s measures taken to address the recent financial crisis were absolutely fitting and efficient. He made this statement during today’s meeting with representatives of regional offices of the United Russia political party in Samara. Putin reiterated that the global markets were shattered primarily because the leading economies, including the US, were pursuing an unfortunate economic and financial policy. However, he stressed that Russia was strong enough to overcome the crisis, allowing it to remain secure amidst the present global crisis.

RBC, 25.09.2008, Samara 18:17:28.Russia is not making excessive claims to the Arctic Shelf, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin told the representatives of the United Russia political party’s regional branches, adding that the country’s claims were in line with current international law. Russia intends to develop relations with its Arctic Shelf partners on a friendly basis, while simultaneously protecting its own interests, the PM stressed. He also noted that he did not understand why Russia’s partners had reacted so sharply when Russia clarified its position on the Arctic Shelf. Putin reiterated that the Foreign Ministers of Russia, Norway, Denmark, Canada, and the US had recently held a meeting on the matter. The Ministers have agreed that the problem would be resolved in accordance with existing international legal base, particularly maritime law.

RBC, 25.09.2008, Moscow 14:16:25.Russia may become the strongest financial center in Eastern Europe in the next five to seven years, Russian Presidential Aide Arkady Dvorkovich said during a lecture at the International University in Moscow. He indicated that at the moment Russia could not be considered a global financial center, but stated that Moscow itself was steadily becoming a financial center of the CIS. With that in mind, in the next 10 to 15 years Russia could be ranked among the top eight global financial centers, Dvorkovich noted. He added that the process could have been expedited if Russia created an offshore zone, stressing, however, that this would have harmed Russia’s image.

RBC, 25.09.2008, Moscow 16:58:51.At the request of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, the government will allocate RUB 500bn (approx. USD 19.94bn) to stabilize the stock market by buying out shares of Russian companies, making those with a government stake the first priority, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin told representatives of the United Russia political party’s regional branches. The government will be buying out undervalued stocks, Putin noted, pointing out that it expected them to rise.

In Russia Life is Simple: We can Just Remove that Border in South Ossetia!


This is what I like about Russia, everyday you get to shake your head in disbelief at the news you hear:
“As far as integration is concerned, currently it will be enough if we essentially eliminate borders between the Russian Federation and South Ossetia, assisting to restore the republic’s economy, if we give people an opportunity to live quietly and bring up their children, develop their republic and communicate without restrictions, without formalities at the frontier,” Putin said.

He has added that one more document should be signed – on the one side it will be protecting Russia’s interests in respect to its outer boundaries, and on the other side it will give people an opportunity to communicate freely, “without any administrative barriers”.(Link)

But that is why I love Russia! The way Russians look at things is great, “Just erase the borders!”.

Kyle & Svet

PS: This should start, Bush and Company jumping up and down again…..

comments always welcome.