Russian news: August 19th, 2008!

RBC, 19.08.2008, Moscow 14:55:28.Speaker of the Federation Council Sergei Mironov does not believe in Russia’s isolation, due to the conflict in South Ossetia. The official made this statement today, commenting on the US State Secretary Condoleezza Rice’s appeal to the NATO Council to isolate Russia. The council will hold a meeting in Brussels today. Mironov pointed out that Russia was located on two continents, had energy resources, and had a serious influence in the global arena. He believes that Saakashvili has brought shame to the European Union by making a speech against the EU flag.

RBC, 19.08.2008, Moscow 14:35:10.The Russian stock market is likely to continue declining, analysts told RBC TV today. A military conflict in Georgia is not longer the key factor that influences that market, and therefore, market participants have turned their attention to the global oil price and current trends on foreign stock exchanges, experts say. Analysts note that it is hard to predict when the downward trend on the oil market will change.

RBC, 19.08.2008, Moscow 13:15:51.Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) has intelligence that Georgian special services are preparing terrorist attacks on Russian territory, FSB chief and head of the national anti-terrorism committee Alexander Bortnikov told a committee meeting in Moscow today. He stressed that he had given instructions to take measures as appropriate to ensure anti-terrorism security of national government bodies, as well as transportation, industrial, energy, and life support facilities, and populated areas, the Mayak radio station reported. The FSB chief stressed that such measures had to be taken primarily in the Southern Federal District.

RBC, 19.08.2008, Baku 12:48:06.Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry has denied information on the introduction of restrictions for the passage of foreigners through Azeri-Russian border. The border between Azerbaijan and Russia is operating as usual, and there are no restrictions, Spokesman for the republic’s Foreign Ministry Khazar Ibragim was reported as saying by Trend news agency. However, the ministry did not specify if any restrictions had been introduced during the military conflict in South Ossetia.

RBC, 19.08.2008, Moscow 12:19:55.Syria’s President Bashar al-Asad is expected to pay a working visit to Russia on August 20-21, 2008 at the invitation of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, the press office of the Russian leader reported today.

RBC, 19.08.2008, Tbilisi 11:50:20.Georgian authorities have announced that the first exchange of prisoners of war has taken place in Igoeti, Georgia. According to the country’s Interior Ministry, Russia’s corresponding ministry has handed over 15 prisoners of war to Georgia, while the latter handed over five people, including two pilots of Russian planes that were shot down by Georgians.

RBC, 18.08.2008, Moscow 18:47:13.The Russian Foreign Ministry continues to receive numerous appeals from Russian citizens to the International Criminal Court Prosecutor calling to bring action against the Georgian leadership for committing international crimes on South Ossetian territory. As reported by the ministry’s information and press department, these appeals are directed by the agency to the International Criminal Court for consideration.

RBC, 18.08.2008, Moscow 17:54:10.The refugees that have returned to Tskhinvali are asking be sent back to North Ossetia, the Russian Armed Forces’ Deputy Chief of General Staff Anatoly Nogovitsyn has announced. He said that, having returned to the South Ossetian capital, the people see that there are no schools, no food, and there are problems with humanitarian aid deliveries.