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Media Mirror – Russia's press review

This Tuesday we continue looking at what the Russian weeklies have to offer. It is all about the middle east: the U.S. sanctions against Iran, the Kurdish issue and Russia’s new representative to NATO.

Moskovskie Novosti. In his column, former Prime Minister Evgeny Primakov, a life-long Middle East expert, writes about the latest U.S. sanctions against Iran. He says they're a bad idea and bad timing too. The sanctions, being unilateral, damage the unity of the Western world regarding relations with Teheran. Being unilateral, they also create suspicion that neo-conservative policies are back even in the absence of their creators. Finally, the sanctions come at the exact moment when Russia has achieved a significant breakthrough in negotiations with Iran. The author says such polices can only satisfy those who want a unilateral American war against Iran – and want it fast.

Profile columnist Sergey Lopatnikov says the Kurdish issue is rapidly becoming a serious problem in the Middle East. Up to 40 million Kurds, writes the author, are waiting or fighting for an independent Kurdistan. This was promised by a Peace Treaty in 1920. When the U.S. Congress passed a resolution on the federalisation of Iraq, the Kurds were finally given some hope. Now, with Turkish troops on their territory, that hope has become shaky. The Kurdish issue has had an effect on Turkey-U.S. relations, Turkey-EU relations, Iraq-Iran relations, and the whole set-up in the Middle East. In this case, Russia, a Christian country,  in order to pursue its national interest will have to rely on Moslem nations alone. The author says that is difficult and plainly dangerous.

In the magazine Russia in Global Politics, Fedor Lukyanov writes about the appointment of Dmitry Rogozin, a well-known nationalist politician, as Russia’s representative to NATO. This is one of President Putin’s decisions that look shocking at first glance and natural at the second. Rogozin, says the author, is a brilliant public speaker, who will be gladly accepted in any parliament on Earth.

Moskovskie Novosti’s Oleg Vladykin reports on a briefing at the headquarters of the National Security Bureau of Poland. The topic was U.S. missile defence. The correspondent writes he was surprised when the Polish side started talking about the absence of danger for Russia from the programme. While speaking, they were pointing at spots on a map with pre-marked trajectories of missiles launched from Russia.

Asked if the new Government is likely to reconsider the issue of missile defence entirely, the Polish officer said it was hardly likely because usually an American base near a village turns the village into a wealthy town.