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By Brahma Chellaney
Beijing's creeping aggression signals a challenge to U.S. presence in the Asian Pacific
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Yukos Oil Co.
With the recent announcement of the pending joint venture transaction between ExxonMobil and the Russian state-owned oil company Rosneft, the Russians were asking the world to sweep under the rug their blatant theft of Yukos Oil Co.
The new Congress was sworn in just last week, but events far away - in Russia - already are causing members to vent their ire. For one, Russian police detained Boris Nemtsov, one of the leaders of the Russian opposition, during a rally in defense of the freedom of assembly, on Triumfalnaya Square in Moscow on the last day of 2010.
Western governments on Thursday condemned a Russian court's decision to extend the prison sentence for imprisoned oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky in a ruling widely viewed as flouting the rule of law and evincing Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's political ambitions.