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Media Mirror – Russia's weekend press reviewed

The Russian weeklies concentrate on four main issues, which are December’s State Duma election, Russian law enforcement, the conflict between Turkey and Iraqi Kurds, and the relationship between Russia and the EU.

Six weeks to the Duma election. In an interview with ITOGIChairman of the Central Electoral Commission, Vladimir Churov, says: “I’m no politician, I’m a legal formalist. The election will not be a de-facto plebiscite, but an election of a parliament. The main intrigue for me is what the turnout will to be.”

MOSKOVSKIE NOVOSTI reports that the law enforcement turf wars in September-October led to the creation of the State Anti-Narcotics Committee. Its newly-appointed chairman, the Head of the Narcotics Police, Victor Cherkesov, became equal in position to the Federal Security Director, Nikolai Patrushev. The publication speculates that soon there may emerge one more State Committee, with the broad task of fighting corruption.

Gleb Pavlovsky adds that turf wars are not serious. They are fought by different law enforcement bodies sharing one head – the President. The Putin factor, says the political scientist, is their only strength. Sharing the Putin factor is their weakness – it strictly limits their political and economic appetites.
The same paper touches on the Middle East. Evgeny Primakov says Turkey’s military actions in Iraqi Kurdistan may cause a chain reaction in Turkey’s own Kurd-populated areas, where there are more than 10 million Kurds living. He adds that as soon as Turkish troops crossed the border, the territorial integrity of Iraq was put at stake.
ITOGI says the main events of President Putin’s visit to Iran happened with the TV cameras off. Caspian solidarity is a good thing indeed, says the article but in fact Putin was, most probably, negotiating a deal on Iran’s nuclear programme for the U.S. and Europe, with an interest for Russia.    
RUSSIA IN GLOBAL AFFAIRS has an article by Fedor Lukyanov saying Russia-EU relations are entering a new phase. A decade ago Europe viewed Russia as a country ready to accept a completely selfless incorporation into European values. Now Russia is different, but Europe has changed as well. A strong united economy, writes the author, failed to produce political unity. Finding consensus in Europe on any issue is a lengthy and complicated affair. When it is found, the united Europe becomes totally incapable of compromise: too much effort has gone into finding common ground to start everything anew. The writer says that nowadays Europe just can’t cope with the pace of a fast-growing Russia.