US, Russia, France back Nagorno-Karabakh peace moves

French President Nicolas Sarkozy, left, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, center, and U.S. President Barack Obama clap after a commemoration ceremony at the G8 summit in L'Aquila, Italy on Friday, July 10, 2009. AP Photo: Michel Euler

HUNTSVILLE, Ontario, June 26 (Reuters) – The United States, France and Russia on Saturday pledged to support Armenia and Azerbaijan as they try to agree basic principles for settling a dispute over Azerbaijan’s breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region.

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Presidents meet in Sochi, agree on ‘preamble’ of Karabakh agreement

Russia -- Presidents of Armenia (R), Russia (C) and Azerbaijan (L) discuss Karabakh resolution in Sochi, 25Jan2010

Armenian President Serzh Sargsian met with his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliev in Sochi today with the mediation of Russia’s President Dmitri Medvedev. The meeting ended in an agreement on the preamble to Karabakh deal.

“”Today, the main result was the agreement, which although we have some parts of the document that are not object of mutual consent, all the sides will prepare their concrete proposals, their concrete wording of all these parts, which will be worked into the text,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said after the meeting, adding, that the presidents have agreed on the ‘preamble’ of the Karabakh agreement. Continue reading

Putin Judos, Medvedev Podcasts – the World Watches

Russian leadership is grabbing global media attention. CNN was full of Russian premier Putin the past two days. On Tuesday, he presented an instructional judo DVD that bears his name and shows him throwing an opponent to the mat.

"Let’s Learn Judo with Vladimir Putin" is the product of collaboration between Putin — a black belt — and other judo enthusiasts, including former World and Olympic judo champion Yasuhiro Yamashita. It apparently was privately made and intended mainly for Russians studying judo.

Today, as if to continue the Russian theme on the international media, Dmitry Medvedev spoke about his upcoming address to the World Policy Conference in Evian in his first video address to the Presidential site’s visitors. That’s the first ever Presidential podcast.

In an interview earlier this year, Medvedev said he typically began every day by turning on his PC. “I look at the sites of our major Russian and foreign media,” he told the Financial Times, adding that he browsed sites that were “positive” about the authorities as well as ones in “tough opposition to them”.
Today one leading pro-Kremlin analyst described Medvedev’s inaugural two-minute video blog as “very good”.

“Putin is a post-Soviet leader. Medvedev is a post-post Soviet leader,” Sergei Markov, a member of the pro-government United Russia party told the Guardian. “He is very advanced at using hi-tec technologies. Among G8 leaders he is the most advanced.”

Meanwhile, Armenian President’s website is also updated and very interestingly, features a Creative Commons license on its lower right corner. That’s certainly very progressive too.