1. U.S. Threatens Russia with War:
Russia will encounter a violent response, if it attacks Georgia after it joins NATO, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced on Thursday. At the same time, Gates urged NATO not to respond provocatively to Russian actions in relation to Georgia, the British television channel Sky News reported. Gates was speaking before an informal meeting of NATO defense chiefs in London, where a response to post-conflict challenges from Russia was discussed.
2. A Russian missile-carrying submarine successfully launched Bulava RSM-56 intercontinental ballistic missiles at 6:45 p.m. Moscow time yesterday, reports Interfax, citing a representative of the Russian Defense Ministry. According to that source, the missiles hit their target in the Kura military range in Kamchatka. He also noted that telemetric data from the launch of the missile is still being analyzed, but it is already clear that the missiles performed up to expectations.
3. Former U.S. president George H.W. Bush presented former president of the USSR Mikhail Gorbachev with the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Thursday. Bush praised the former Soviet leader’s role in history, saying he “opened up new possibilities for the world to come together and solve its problems in the pursuit of liberty. When Eastern Europeans were living in the dark shadow of the Cold War, he provided a beacon of light. Now, almost twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, we are still witnessing the positive impact his efforts have had across the globe. President Gorbachev is always looking ahead at a better future and helping all of us work to get there.”
4. Moody’s Investors Service commented on the situation on Russia’s financial markets. So far, the crisis hasn’t undermined the country’s sovereign score that is still at Baa1.
5. Gold and silver prices surged over 10 percent yesterday, hitting the abrupt-growth records of many years. The crude oil prices are rising again. The analysts attribute the boom on primary markets to panic-stricken investors that pull money out of financial market to invest in precious metal and commodities. The gold rally might end once the financial turmoil in the U.S. is over, the analysts warn.
6. The Davis Cup semifinal matches begin today, September 19, 2008. For Russia, it will be the most difficult standoff of this year. The match is played in Argentina and the team of that country has never been beaten at home for a decade already. In another semifinal, Spain clashes with the United States.
7. Russia’s Energy Ministry hopes that Russia and OPEK will sign a memorandum on cooperation in October 2008 in Moscow, the ministry’s head Sergei Shmatko told journalists today. He reiterated that the organization was currently reviewing a series of Russia’s suggestions, adding the country had been successfully cooperating with OPEC for the last 10 years and the new dialog format looked very promising.