Media Mirror 03.05.07

Russian press touches upon the issue of removed Soviet war memorial in Tallinn, writes about Russian-Japanese relations in connection with the Japanese Foreign Minister's visit to Moscow and tells the story of the lucky heir from St.Petersburg.

The conflict over the war memorial in Tallinn is still the center of attention here, in spite of the fact that President of Estonia Toomas Hendrik Ilves said Wednesday that the story of the Bronze Soldier is now over Izvestia newspaper writes. The paper says in a front page article that protests are not likely to stop any time soon.

The same newspaper offers results of an opinion poll on the role of the International Labour day, May 1, in the lives of 21-st Century Russians. The headline of the story describing the Labour Day left-wing demonstrations bears the headline: An unusually quiet First of May.  The graph here shows that the answers to the question, what is most important to you on the First of May, are split as follows:

Meeting with friends – 35%
Gardening at your country house – 24%
A country trip – 22%
The Celebratory meal – 19%
A walk around town – 18%
A chance to relax – 15%
Participation in a demonstration – 11%

Rossyiskaya Gazeta daily publishes an interview with Foreign Minister Taro Aso of Japan by Vasily Golovnin, the ITAR-TASS bureau chief in Tokyo. The Minister is visiting Moscow for a meeting with the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and the Secretary of the Security Council Igor Ivanov.

The main topic of the talks is, predictably, the territorial problem. The Japanese Minister agrees with the opinion of the Russian side that bilateral relations are growing, but says that to make them harmonious and to realize the huge potential of further cooperation the two sides need to solve the territorial issue. The Minister says: “Japan and Russia are united in their intent to maintain further active negotiations on the problem in search of a mutually acceptable solution based on the existing agreements.”

Japan at risk of being late for Russian markets, this is the title of an interview in Kommersant business daily with Dmitry Mezentsev, co-chairman of the Russo-Japanese Forum, who thinks that by positioning the solution of the territorial issue as a condition for further development of relations Japan risks losing many opportunities in Russia, which will be exploited by other countries.

“The best method of solving the territorial issue is a maximal increase in our co-operation in every sphere. The territorial problem will then become less sensitive and will find a much easier solution,” he says.

A man from St.Petersburg inherited a ruby ring from his grandmother and forgot all about it for a few years, writes Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper. When he finally took it to experts it was valued at $US500 MLN and identified as a work of the great Benvenuto Cellini himself. The ring was given to one of the lucky heir’s ancestors by a King of Poland in the 16-th Century. A family relic of such value belonging to a Russian citizen cannot be sold abroad without the approval of the Russian government.