Media Mirror - 09.06.07

This weekend in Russia is slightly shifted due to National Day on June 12, so this review is a mix of dailies and weeklies. Conveniently, all of them have a common topic: the G8 summit that took place in Germany.

Rossiyskaya Gazeta writes that in spite of multiple deviations from the pre-planned course, the G8 summit came to the finishing line with 13 documents, a positive shift in the process of resolving the Kosovo problem, a new twist in the “case” of U.S. missile defence in Europe and a confirmed tendency towards accepting new members in the future.

The global warming issue, feared dropped altogether on the first day, made it into the final documents, if not in its original form. The paper says that the German suggestion was premature anyway, as most of the G8 countries to say nothing of the lesser players were not ready for it. The main success in this sense the paper sees in the shift in the U.S. position which seems to have become softer.

Columnist and magazine editor Sergey Karganov writes that “Washington came to the understanding that in this issue it found itself in isolation, and so it started yielding to common sense, to American public opinion and to pressure from other leading nations.”

The columnist says that he came to respect the drive, persistence and the final personal victory of the German Chancellor who manoeuvred her colleagues into the discussion of global warming when to an outside view the case was completely lost.

A major highlight of the summit was also the move with which Russian President Vladimir Putin managed to set his own rules in the game around the U.S. missile defence in Europe.

Moskovskie Novosti weekly writes that the G8 summit failed to bring about a “global warming” in international relations but managed to avoid launching a new ice age, in spite of predictions.

Of the U.S. missile defence and Russia's concerns over it the paper says that Russia sees in the near future, along with the deployment of these systems in Eastern Europe, another deployment that may happen as soon as Georgia and Ukraine are “ripe” for NATO membership. In that case, writes the weekly,“A potential conflict between the West and a ”rogue“ nation could make Russia a target for stray projectiles or even a part of the battlefield.”

Kommersant in an article titled “They are not buying it” says that the U.S. is going to deploy missile defence systems in Europe anyway, even if it agrees to share the radar station in Azerbaijan. The paper argues that the shortest path for an Iranian ballistic missile goes directly through Azerbaijan, Southern Russia and Poland. So, if the launch is detected by the radar station in Azerbaijan, the most accurate counter-missile launch could be carried out from a launch pad in Poland. Thankfully, Iran hasn't got the missiles yet.