Final Word from Thursday, January 13, 2011

This is the tale of how a Prague breakfast struck fear into the world's fourth most-powerful man. It starts with the arrest of Boris Nemtsov, which The Economist linked to Nemtsov's criticism of the Khodorkovsky verdict. Russian journalists Piontovski, Illarionov and Latynina see it differently. Nemtsov published a treatise in mid-2010 that put Putin's wealth at $20-30bn and identifies him as the beneficial owner of Gennadi Timchenko's oil-exporting firm, Gunvor. In substantiating the Putin-Gunvor link in court on Dec. 17, Nemtsov used an EU document showing that Timchenko and other Putin confidants stopped in Prague in 2008 while en route from Moscow to Sochi, where Putin was on a trip. It's all circumstantial, but Nem-tsov used a routine EU document to implicate Putin in high crime. Reason enough to arrest Nemtsov ... and another reason for Putin to want Klaus to bring down the EU.[Czech Republic Vladimir Václav European Union Andrei Andrej Yulia Mikhail]

Glossary of difficult words

power lunch/breakfast - a working lunch/breakfast where important discussions may be held and important decisions made;

treatise - a written work dealing formally and systematically with a subject;

beneficial owner - (legal) the true owner of a security;

to substantiate - to provide evidence in support or prove the truth of;

confidant - a person with whom one shares a secret or private matter, trusting him or her not to repeat it to others;

circumstantial - (of evidence or a legal case) pointing indirectly toward someone's guilt but not conclusively proving it;

high crime - a major crime.


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