Putin emphasizes military ties with Chinese VP
Russian President Vladimir Putin emphasized burgeoning military ties with China June 6 on the second day of a visit to his nation’s eastern neighbor.
Putin told Vice President Xi Jinping that he and Chinese President Hu Jintao have vowed to expand military exchanges and he also recalled recent Russian-Chinese naval exercises in the Yellow Sea.
Military exchanges between Moscow and Beijing have accelerated under a regional security grouping that has hosted regular border protection and anti-terrorism drills.
China is a major customer for Russian fighters, submarines, missiles frigates, and other high-tech arms, but mistrust lingers from their Cold War rivalry. Ties have warmed steadily, however, over Putin’s decade-long dominance of Russian political life.
Putin’s visit is his first to China since returning to Russia’s presidency last month and comes ahead of his first visit to the U.S. in a move seen as signaling an eastward pivot in Russian foreign policy.
In Beijing, Putin reaffirmed targets of raising bilateral trade to $100 billion by 2015 from $83.5 billion last year, and to $200 million by 2020.
Warming ties between China and Russia have counterbalanced U.S. influence and shielded Syria from international moves to halt its crackdown on a 15-month uprising. AP
Retired Russian colonel convicted of spying for U.S.
A Moscow court has convicted a retired colonel from Russia’s counterintelligence agency of spying on behalf of the United States and sentenced him to 18 years in prison.
District Military Court spokeswoman Irina Zhirnova said it convicted Valery Mikhailov June 6 of passing state secrets to representatives of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. She said Mikhailov would be stripped of his rank and sent to a high-security prison.
Mikhailov’s conviction is the latest in a series of espionage cases that come amid tensions between Moscow and Washington.
Last week, a retired Russian military officer was also found guilty of spying for the U.S. and handed a 12-year prison sentence. And earlier last month, a defense company worker received an eight-year sentence on charges of betraying missile secrets. AP
Anchorage to host June rocket, space summit
The Alaska State Senate will host a one-day gathering this month aimed at exploring additional opportunities for the aerospace industry in Alaska.
The Alaska Rocket and Space Summit will be June 21 in Anchorage.
Senate President Gary Stevens says Senate representatives have been working closely with the Alaska Aerospace Corp. to invite experts and key industry players to inform legislators of what’s happening in the industry.
The Kodiak Republican says the aerospace industry brings millions of private dollars to Alaska’s economy.
Stevens says Lockheed Martin in March chose the Kodiak Launch Center as its dedicated West Coast launch facility for Athena rockets and the company and the aerospace corporation will be seeking $100 million in commercial financing to finish construction of a medium lift facility. AP