News in Brief

Russia Eyes Pakistani Crisis



The Foreign Ministry said Monday that it hoped the resignation of Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf would not lead to a political crisis in that country.

Musharraf announced his resignation earlier Monday, ending a nearly nine-year tenure that opponents said was hampering Pakistan's shaky return to democracy. Musharraf said he wanted to spare Pakistan from a dangerous power struggle with opponents vowing to impeach him.

"Russia hopes that the resignation of Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf will not have a negative impact on the domestic political stability of this large Asian country," Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrei Nesterenko said, RIA-Novosti reported. (MT, AP)




Sweden Cancels Meetings



STOCKHOLM, Sweden -- Sweden said Monday that it was canceling a series of military visits and meetings with Russia after Moscow's war with Georgia.

Sweden and Russia had planned more than a dozen visits between troops and high-ranking officials in both countries, starting next month. Visits to naval harbors and joint training exercises were on the agenda, as well as work toward a joint memorandum on submarine rescue operations. (Reuters)




Lukashenko to Visit Sochi



President Dmitry Medvedev will meet with Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko in Sochi on Tuesday, Interfax reported.

The two leaders will prepare for a meeting of the Collective Security Treaty Organization's collective security council on Sept. 5 and a CIS summit on Oct. 10, the report said. They will also discuss ways to expand trade, which shot up 60 percent year on year in the first half of 2008 to reach $18 billion. (MT)




Tymoshenko Called Betrayer



KIEV -- Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko's office on Monday accused Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko of betraying national interests by not backing Georgia in its conflict with Russia.

Andriy Kyslynsky, Yushchenko's deputy chief of staff, accused Tymoshenko of remaining silent to secure Moscow's support during the presidential election in 2010.

"Russia's leaders are seriously considering supporting Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko in the presidential campaign once she … fulfills the condition of adopting a passive position in the conflict with Georgia," Kyslynsky said in a statement on the presidential web site. The president's office was handing prosecutors documents about Tymoshenko's "fully fledged work in the interests of the Russian side," he said. (Reuters)




Poles Want U.S. Shield Now



WARSAW -- A majority of Poles for the first time support having a U.S. missile-defense base in their country, an acceptance that has grown since the fighting in Georgia, according to a poll published Monday.

The survey by the GfK Polonia for the Rzeczpospolita daily shows that 58 percent of those interviewed support the deal struck Thursday between Washington and Warsaw, while 37 percent believed that it was bad for Poland.

A poll by the same agency in March 2007 indicated 30 percent support for the plan, and 51 percent opposition. (AP)