Russian News: August 26th, 2008!

RBC, 26.08.2008, Kiev 19:44:39.Ukrainian Foreign Ministry’s delegation headed by acting First Deputy Minister Yury Kostenko has cancelled its visit to Russia, the ministry reported today. The meeting was initiated by Moscow and provided for holding political consultations on Wednesday. The visit was cancelled due to Russia’s decision to recognize the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, which are internationally acknowledged as integral parts of the sovereign republic of Georgia, the RBC Ukraine reported today.

RBC, 26.08.2008, Moscow 19:36:41.Experts believe that the escalation of the conflict due to Russia’s recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia is not likely to result in a halt in trade relations between Russia and the West. Some major investment projects are projected to be suspended, but international trade is not likely to stop, analysts note, adding that this would be too expensive for Europeans. Industries that depend on foreign investment are anticipated to feel the negative impact of the current developments.

RBC, 26.08.2008, Moscow 18:58:52.Russia is not afraid of a new Cold War, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev told the Russia Today television channel in an interview. He noted that Russia was ready to accept the consequences of recognizing South Ossetia and Abkhazia. However, Medvedev expressed hope that other countries would assume a reasonable stance on the matter and understand the reasons for Russia’s decision.

RBC, 26.08.2008, Moscow 18:27:46.The Russian stock market was able to regain part of the previous loss late in the afternoon. After a 6-percent plunge following President Dmitry Medvedev’s announcement of Russia’s recognition of the sovereignty of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, the RTS index edged up to 1,577.55 points around 5:40 p.m., a 4.26-percent drop from the close on Monday. The MICEX index, which had plummeted as much as 5.5 percent during the session, showed a decline by merely 1.98 percent before the close, reaching 1,294.39 points.

RBC, 26.08.2008, Moscow 17:56:46.Vladimir Pekhtin, first deputy head of the United Russia faction in the State Duma, expects other nations to support Russia and recognize the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia in due course, he told RBC today commenting on the respective decree signed by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. While it was a difficult decision for Russia, the speed with which it was made provides further evidence of Russia’s intention to stop bloodshed and bring peace in the region, Pekhtin said. He stressed that Russia was acting solely as a peacekeeper.

RBC, 26.08.2008, Moscow 16:29:53.Russia’s Federal Security Service has prevented some 10 acts of terrorism in the Southern Federal District, the service’s public relations department reported today. In July, the FSB received information that members of armed gangs operating in the North Caucasus region on behalf of al-Qaeda were preparing a number of terrorist attacks in Russia’s Southern Federal District. During this morning’s operation, an FSB group discovered two militants, who mounted armed resistance in an attempt to flee and were shot down as a result. The militants had all components for making bombs with them, the agency reported.

RBC, 26.08.2008, Moscow 16:23:48.Foreign leaders’ criticism of Russia is not supported by evidence, said deputy head of the Russian military’s General Staff Anatoly Nogovitsyn. He commented on NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer’s announcement that NATO would not have the same relations with Russia after Moscow’s involvement in the Georgia-Ossetia conflict and German chancellor Angela Merkel’s statement that Georgia would join NATO. Even Georgia acknowledged that the damage caused to it from the military activities was smaller than that incurred to South Ossetia, Nogovitsyn pointed out.

RBC, 26.08.2008, Moscow 10:20:52.Moscow has expressed “serious concern” about yet another case of a great number of civilian casualties in Afghanistan, where as a result of an airstrike by the US air force on August 22, 89 civilians lost their lives in Herat Province, including 19 women and 50 children, the Russian Foreign Ministry’s information and press department announced.