Excerpt from a story in today's 'FT':
"Europe’s main election monitoring group said on Friday it was scrapping plans to deploy observers to Russia’s forthcoming parliamentary elections in a decision that could cast doubt on the integrity of the poll.
The Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe claimed Moscow had imposed “unprecedented restrictions” on its activities. Russia had slashed the number of observers it would admit to the December 2 election and then repeatedly delayed issuing visas for OSCE monitors.
The move marks a new low in diplomatic relations between Russia and the west, following clashes over energy, the expansion of Nato into the former Soviet Union and US plans for missile defence bases. The west accuses Russian president Vladimir Putin of suppressing democracy while the Kremlin claims the west seeks to interfere in Russia’s internal affairs."
Check out the OSCE site for more.
And from another story in today's 'FT':
"The public prosecutions’ office in the British Virgin Islands has told the US government it has “overwhelming evidence” that Leonid Reiman, Russian telecommunications minister, is the “true beneficial owner” of a fund that owns a large part of Russia’s telecoms industry.
In a letter to the US justice department, Terrence F. Williams, the BVI’s director of public prosecution, said BVI investigators had prepared preliminary charges against Jeffrey Galmond, a close associate of Mr Reiman.
The letter alleges he concealed the minister’s role as the beneficial owner of Ipoc, a Bermuda-based fund that owns a chunk of Russia’s telecoms industry, including Megafon, the mobile operator.
The disclosure looked set to deal a fresh blow to Mr Reiman, an ally of Vladimir Putin, the Russian president. Mr Reiman has repeatedly denied allegations he secretly amassed billions of dollars of assets in the telecom sector with the help of Mr Galmond, his Danish lawyer, who has claimed in court testimony he was the beneficial owner of Ipoc."
What's Vova's cut?