Russia opens case against potash boss, seeks extradition

AFP PHOTO / VASILY MAXIMOV (Photo credit should read VASILY MAXIMOV/AFP/Getty Images) A police officer guards a vandalised street, the site of mass rioting in the southern Biryulyovo district of Moscow, late on October 13, 2013. Mass rioting broken out today in a southern Moscow district after a mixed crowd of nationalists and locals attacked a warehouse run by migrants and natives of the Caucasus. The riot was prompted by the fatal stabbing of an ethnic Russian in the area. AFP PHOTO / VASILY MAXIMOV (Photo credit should read VASILY MAXIMOV/AFP/Getty Images) Police officers guard a vandalised street, the site of mass rioting in the southern Biryulyovo district of Moscow, late on October 13, 2013. Mass rioting broken out today in a southern Moscow district after a mixed crowd of nationalists and locals attacked a warehouse run by migrants and natives of the Caucasus. The riot was prompted by the fatal stabbing of an ethnic Russian in the area. AFP PHOTO / VASILY MAXIMOV (Photo credit should read VASILY MAXIMOV/AFP/Getty Images) OMON, riot police, officers search a man detained during mass rioting in the southern Biryulyovo district of Moscow, late on October 13, 2013. Mass rioting broken out today in a southern Moscow district after a mixed crowd of nationalists and locals attacked a warehouse run by migrants and natives of the Caucasus. The riot was prompted by the fatal stabbing of an ethnic Russian in the area. AFP PHOTO / VASILY MAXIMOV (Photo credit should read VASILY MAXIMOV/AFP/Getty Images) OMON, riot police, officers escort a man detained during mass rioting in the southern Biryulyovo district of Moscow, late on October 13, 2013. Mass rioting broken out today in a southern Moscow district after a mixed crowd of nationalists and locals attacked a warehouse run by migrants and natives of the Caucasus. The riot was prompted by the fatal stabbing of an ethnic Russian in the area.

Russia offered New Zealand fighter jets for butter: Book

The extraordinary offer was made by Russia to New Zealand in 1993, a new book has claimed. After the collapse of the Soviet Union , Russia was struggling to pay the $100 million it owed New Zealand for a range of imported dairy products, Guardian reported. In a meeting with Russian officials to chalk out payment terms, Jim Bolger, then New Zealand prime minister, was left “absolutely stunned” to be offered a nuclear submarine and two MiG fighter jets in lieu of money, according to Clive Lind, the author of the book, ” Till the Cows Came Home “. Lind, who interviewed Bolger and former New Zealand Dairy Board chairman Dryden Spring, who was also present at the meeting, said the offer had been made by Alexander Shokhin, then deputy prime minister of Russia. “The Russians were trying to come up with lines of credit before Shokhin mentioned there were other funding arrangements,” Lind was quoted by the daily as saying. “He pointed out that MiG jets were highly desirable and that they also had surplus tanks to offer. Jim Bolger had to explain that he wasn’t in the market for second-hand tanks,” Lind added. Perhaps most remarkably, Shokhin then offered a nuclear submarine to wipe out Russia’s debt. Noting that New Zealand was a staunchly non-nuclear-powered country, he suggested hooking the vessel up to the national grid and using it as a power plant for a coastal city, the report said. “Bolger recalled the reaction he would have got if he returned to a nuclear-free New Zealand and told people that he hadn’t got any money for them but had secured a nuclear submarine instead,” Lind said. “It simply wasn’t going to fly.” After politely declining the offer of the military equipment, New Zealand managed to secure a number of periodic payments from Russia, totalling about $30 million less than a third of the total debt.

The cartel accounted for 40 percent of the world market worth around $20 billion a year. WILL KERIMOV SELL? Baumgertner was initially put in pre-trial detention but later moved to house arrest. Charged with abuse of power and embezzlement, he faces up to 12 years in prison if convicted. Russia’s federal Investigative Committee, which answers to President Vladimir Putin, said it had opened an investigation into Baumgertner on suspicion of abuse of power and would request his extradition. The extradition could save face for Lukashenko, who has said his country could hand over Baumgertner as long as Russia took steps to prosecute him. An extradition would not necessarily lead to a trial, however, and it could reduce pressure on the main owner of Uralkali, Russian billionaire Suleiman Kerimov, to sell his stake so that the cartel can re-form. It would, though, put the asset more firmly in Putin’s hands. There has been intense lobbying by businessmen with past ties to the Russian leader to buy Kerimov’s 21.75 percent stake in Uralkali. With two partners, Kerimov controls a third of the business. Both the Kremlin and Belarus have tried to play down the arrest by suggesting bilateral ties between the Slavic neighbors, allies in Russian-led security and trade groups that are important to Putin, should trump business disputes.

Russia Responds to Anti-Migrant Riots by Arresting Migrants

That was the most violent display of ethnic hatred to erupt in Moscow under Putins rule, and it reminded the elites that xenophobia is a force best kept contained. (MORE: Russias Elections: Even in Defeat, Anti-Putin Camp Finds Victory ) But as last months mayoral election approached, Sobyanins campaign team seemed unable to resist the political temptation. Polls showed anti-immigrant sentiment was high among the electorate, and it was a far easier issue for Sobyanin to turn in his favor than corruption or tawdry social services. So Sobyanin not only failed to dampen these racist feelings, not only turned a blind eye to manifestations of racism, but he took up this anti-immigrant rhetoric as the basis of his campaign, Petrov says. The Moscow mayor was not the only politician trying harness this energy. Particularly among young men, aggression toward immigrants is no less ferocious in Russia than in many European countries inundated with foreign laborers. But Russia has no independent party capable of representing the political far right; the Kremlin has not allowed such movements gain a foothold in the electoral processes. The countrys right-wing youth have thus tended to coalesce around football clubs and other informal groups, giving rise to a fierce and politically marginalized subculture of nationalism. Sobyanins main rival in last months election, the opposition leader Alexei Navalny, has long been known to associate with nationalist groups, and he had a strong chance of garnering their support if Sobyanin failed to co-opt them in the lead-up to the election. After this weekends riot in Moscow, Navalny again showed his sympathy for the anti-immigrant movement, lashing out against the hordes of legal and illegal immigrants who live and work around the citys bazaars. From there they crawl out to the surrounding neighborhoods, Navalny wrote on his blog on Monday. Theyre not going to die of hunger when they cant find work, not when they can snatch a purse in the subway or take somebodys money at knifepoint in an elevator. So the rioters, Navalny suggested, were justified in pushing back against the immigrant threat. If there is no fair way to resolve conflicts and problems, then people will create it themselves, with primitive and desperate measures, he wrote. Over the weekend, these measures caused dozens of injuries, hundreds of arrests and millions of dollars in property damage.