Media Mirror - 29.05.07.

Russian newspapers write about the growing conflict between Germany and the U.S over the Kyoto Protocol, prospects of the global economy and the leading countries and consider the role of politics in the life of modern Russians.

If failure was predicted for the St. Petersburg summit of the G8 but the prediction itself failed to come true, the reverse may happen in Germany this time, writes VREMYA NOVOSTEI newspaper in a front-page article titled “G8 nearing boiling point”.

The climate change issue or, rather, the U.S. reaction to Germany’s plan to raise it during the summit, is going to cause difficulties in achieving a mutual understanding on the role and further fate of the Kyoto Protocol. The U.S. response to the initiative of German Chancellor Angela Merkel to include the global warming issue in the agenda of the meeting prompted a response from the U.S. which, as the paper puts it, “was outside the boundaries of diplomacy”. It seems, writes the daily, that there is no way to solve this problem before the summit.

VEDOMOSTI business daily has the results of a world economic forecast made by the Russian Institute of the World Economy and International Relations, predicting that by 2020 China will become the biggest economy in the world, with the U.S. coming second and Russia – fifth, after India and Japan. Growing at an annual rate of 7.1% in the decade 2010 – 2020, China’s GDP by the end of that period will be a quarter higher than that of the U.S. However the U.S. will remain the biggest consumer in the world, continuing to gulp down one third of everything consumed on the planet.

ROSSYISKAYA GAZETA official daily has a column by political scientist Leonid Radzikhovsky who compares closely following politics on TV to following football and comes to the conclusion that in both cases the result of one game does not change anything in the real lives of the fans and spectators.

He says that watching politics brings more stress than football but over a period of time it has an important long-term result: the understanding of the goings-on and an opportunity to participate in solving the basic problems of the nation.

What were these in the Soviet times, he asks himself, and answers:

“The overall shortage of everything, lines forming up for any product, lines in which you lived your life from cradle to grave. The closed borders making a trip to neighbouring Hungary a dream of your life.”

Than he turns to the basic problems of today, naming the following:

“Conscription, if you have sons. Corruption, if you own a business. And the biggest fear of all: What will happen to our consumer society when the oil, gas and metal drop in value or run out?”

With matters of foreign policy, continues the columnist, things are much easier: after the Iron Curtain went to the scrap dealers,

“We travel abroad, we trade, we study, we do business abroad, we have joined the world community once and for all – and there’s no way to put this toothpaste back into the tube.”