Putin’s Chief of Staff Becomes Mayor of Moscow

Voice of America News reports: “Vladimir Putin’s chief of staff is now Moscow’s new mayor.

Sergei Sobyanin, a native of a Siberian village, is little known to Muscovites, having lived here for only five years. But he spent those five years as chief of staff to Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin – and that was enough for him to be appointed Mayor of Moscow.

It was a smoothly choreographed ascension. Moscow’s city council dutifully – and overwhelmingly – approved Sobyanin, the Kremlin’s choice. Then, came an inauguration ceremony led by President Dmitry Mevedyev, the new mayor’s nominal sponsor. Then, ‘live’ on national television, an award ceremony with the mayor’s patron, Prime Minister Putin.

After Russia’s prime minister and president, the Mayor of Moscow is widely seen as the third most powerful official in the nation. He rules the capital of the world’s biggest energy exporter. Greater Moscow now contains 10 percent of Russia’s population and one quarter of its $1.2-trillion economy.

Dmitri Trenin, director of the Carnegie Moscow Center, said that with a close Putin confidante now starting a five year term as Moscow’s mayor, it is clear where power really lies in Russia today.

‘Vladimir Putin has been and will continue to be Russia’s paramount politician,’ he said. ‘He is the one calling the shots.’…” (Ezekiel 38 & 39 – study both chapters also Joel 2:3, 20, 30, and 31. See the next two reports.)

Russia ‘considering’ proposal to join missile shield

BBC News reports: “President Dmitry Medvedev has said Russia is considering proposals to co-operate on a US-led missile defense shield in Europe.

But speaking after talks with the French and German leaders, Mr. Medvedev stressed the NATO bloc needed to make clear how Russia would be involved.

Moscow had earlier expressed its concerns over the plans to deploy the missile shield in central Europe.

At the talks Mr. Medvedev also said he would attend a NATO summit next month.

The Kremlin had held back for several weeks before giving its response to attend the summit in Lisbon on 19 November.

Speaking after the two-day talks in Deauville, northern France, Mr. Medvedev revealed that he told French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel that Russia was considering co-operation on the controversial missile defense shield…”

Russia and Venezuela sign nuclear power and oil deals

BBC News reports: “Russia is to build a nuclear power plant in Venezuela as part of a series of energy deals between the nations.

Russia will build two 1,200 megawatt nuclear reactors at the Venezuelan plant, said the ITAR-Tass news agency.

Meanwhile Rosneft, Russia’s state oil giant, will buy a 50% stake in German refinery firm Ruhr Oel from Venezuelan state-owned company PDVSA.

The agreement, worth $1.6bn (£1bn), was signed at the Kremlin during Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s visit.

However the cost of the nuclear deal was not immediately revealed.

‘It could be in 10 years, it could be earlier,’ said Sergei Kirienko, head of the Russian state nuclear power corporation Rosatom.

‘Right now we have no practical activity in building nuclear power stations.

‘However, under the agreement signed today, that possibility has now in principle appeared.’…”