Russian military expert plays down fears of N.Korea nuclear war:
A Russian disarmament expert has played down North Korea’s threats to carry out nuclear strikes if attacked, calling them “political rhetoric”.
Putin congratulates Croatia, Slovenia on independence anniversary:
Russia’s prime minister sent messages to his counterparts in Slovenia and Croatia on Thursday congratulating them on the 18th anniversary of independence from Yugoslavia, the government press service said.
Strasbourg court orders Russia to pay $59,370 to prisoner:
The European Court of Human Rights ordered Russia on Thursday to pay 42,600 euros ($59,370) to a prisoner as compensation for inhumane treatment. Alexander Bakhmutskiy, who is serving a 13-year prison term for fraud, kidnapping, extortion, theft, burglary and other offences, appealed to the Strasbourg Court over “the appalling conditions, unlawfulness and excessive length of his detention.”
Ukraine’s premier says president has no chance of re-election:
Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko said on Thursday that Viktor Yushchenko will not be re-elected as president even if she and her party supports him. Ukraine’s parliament has scheduled a presidential election for January 17. Yushchenko has announced plans to run for a second term despite single-figure ratings (currently 1.9%).
U.S. transit center in Kyrgyzstan to help fight terror – Medvedev:
The creation of a U.S. transit center in Kyrgyzstan will contribute to the fight against international terrorism, the Russian president said on Thursday.
Top U.S. military commander to visit Russia on June 25-28:
The chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, will arrive on Thursday on a three-day working visit to Russia, the Russian Defense Ministry said.
Russia, U.S. continue dialogue on strategic arms, missile defense:
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Thursday that dialogue was continuing with Washington on linking strategic arms reductions with U.S. plans to deploy missile defenses in central Europe.