News From Russia… (12/07/2010)

# Western analysts predict a bright future for the Russian economy, with global oil prices capping $100 per barrel. If this does indeed transpire, then the Russian government will be able to balance its budget by mid-2011, rather than needing another four years, as local forecasts suggest…

# “PepsiCo is planning to acquire one of Russia’s leading dairy and juice producers, Wimm-Bill-Dann, next spring. If skeptics’ fears prove right and PepsiCo’s plan is to move away from dairy to soft drinks and similar products, Russia could face a shortage of popular milk-based drinks.

# Media and civil society activists gathered for yet another protest in Moscow against attacks on Russian journalists. The rally was planned a month ago. Results of the investigation into the attack on Kommersant correspondent Oleg Kashin were expected to be revealed at the rally. In the absence of any results, the journalists talked about their personal experiences.

# Russian providers of Internet services may avoid responsibility for offensive or controversial content stored on their servers, according to amendments to the Russian Civil Code proposed by the presidential law codification council, a Russian business daily said on Tuesday.

# China is not going to take either side in the standoff on the Korean Peninsula, but says dialogue is the only way out as tensions mount between the two Koreas.

# NATO drew up plans in January to defend the Baltic states against Russia, the latest batch of leaked U.S. cables released by Wikileaks show.

# Nuclear warheads have been completed for Russia’s new Bulava submarine-launched ballistic missile, its Yury Solomonov said on Tuesday in an interview with Russia’s Natsionalnaya Oborona journal to be published later in December.

# Moscow and Kiev have signed an agreement to guarantee gas transits through Ukrainian territory, Ukrainian Minister of Fuel and Energy Yuriy Boyko said on Tuesday.

# The founder of the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, has been arrested by the Metropolitan Police in London on sexual assault charges, the BBC said.

# The EU enlargement commissioner described the EU’s relations with Russia as a “strategic partnership” based on “strong mutual interests and interdependence.”

# Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has ordered that the country’s missile and air defense systems be unified before December 2011, the Kremlin press service said on Tuesday.

# Russia is completing the modernization of the Admiral Gorshkov aircraft carrier which has been renamed the Vikramaditya. The ship will be transferred to the Indian Navy in 2012.

# Russia and the EU signed a memorandum of understanding on Tuesday paving the way for Russia’s entry to the World Trade Organization (WTO).

# Russia’s foreign trade surplus increased by 30% year-on-year in January-October 2010 to $136.4 billion, the Federal Customs Service said on Tuesday.


kKEETON @ Windows to Russia…

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