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Heard in Russia: Compatriots Congress, Yukos Ruling, Luzhkov Suit

Russian president Dmitry Medvedev speaking at Compatriots Congress
Russian president Dmitry Medvedev speaking at Compatriots Congress

Compatriots Meet In Moscow

The 3rd World Congress of Russian Compatriots opened in Moscow on Tuesday with an agenda that includes the protection and promotion of the Russian language, problems of Russian citizens living abroad, and the falsification of history and damage to the image of Russia. Some observers claim that the organization is used as a tool by the Russian leadership to discredit "inconvenient" leaderships in former Soviet states. RFE/RL correspondent Karzen Agamirov was refused accreditation to the congress by the foreign ministry's press department, but managed to interview participants outside. Vera Kuznetsov, Vice President of the Union of Russian Compatriots in Georgia, told him, "In countries such as Georgia and the Baltic states where there is obvious suppression of everything Russian, it's very difficult to take measures to protect the Russian language... to take on political tasks. We don't attempt to do so for the sake of our lives."

[read in Russian]

Hague Arbitration Court Ruling Favors Yukos Plaintiffs

The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague has ruled that Russia is bound to the terms of the Energy Charter Treaty. Former owners of the now-defunct oil company Yukos are confident that the ruling will pave the way for them to seek damages of up to $100 billion from the Russian government for the expropriation of Yukos assets. The ruling means that Menatep, the bank which held the majority state in Yukos, can now sue the Russian government under Article 45 of the Energy Charter which protects against seizure of property by governments.

[read in Russian]

Court Orders Nemtsov And Kommersant To Compensate Moscow Mayor

A Moscow Court has ordered Boris Nemtsov, co-chairman of the Solidarity opposition movement, and the Kommersant publishing house each to pay 500,000 rubles to Mayor of Moscow Yuri Luzhkov for moral damages. Luzhkov sued both over an essay written by Nemtsov called "Luzhkov. Results" and an article published in the daily "Kommersant," in which Nemtsov calls Luzhkov a thief and says he is corrupt. The lawyer representing the Kommersant publishing house said, "With this amount [of compensation], they want to frighten the media so they don't write anything bad about Yuri Mikhailovich Luzhkov." Nemtsov said, "I consider the ruling against Kommersant to be an absolute sham and a case of unhidden pressure... It disgraces the Russian system of justice."

[read in Russian]