Media Mirror – Today's Russian press review

Thursday’s Russian press focuses on three main issues, which are – Russia’s 2-1 victory over England in the Euro-2008 qualifiers, President Putin’s meeting with Iranian spiritual leader Ayatolla Hamenei, and the positive forecast on Russia’s fu

The Russian National football team has overcome England and is ready for more, says ROSSIYSKAYA GAZETA on its front page. For the first time since 2004, the Russian team is back in the ranks of the European football elite.

VREMYA NOVOSTEI says, on Wednesday a new date was added to the history of Russian football. Now it depends on the team and coach to make it truly historic – it will definitely happen if they win two more games, with Israel and Andorra.

KOMMERSANT has a detailed report from the meeting between President Putin and the Iranian spiritual leader Ayatolla Hamenei. To be exact, from the part of the meeting that was open for journalists. The article says, from their first steps inside the Ayatolla’s residence, the journalists clearly understood who's boss in Iran. President Ahmadinejad looked as if he bore on his shoulders the whole weight of this great honor bestowed on the Russian leader. Finally, the two Presidents were taken into the presence of the holy man. Andrei Kolesnikov who wrote the report says, by then Vladimir Putin must have understood that it was here and no where else that all the talking about the nuclear program should be done. That may have happened a few minutes later, says the reporter, but by then the journalists had already been politely asked to leave.

VREMYA NOVOSTEI writes, world leaders are eager to learn what message President Putin brings from Teheran. For them, says the paper, the Russian leader is a very important witness of something unreachable for them. George Bush said at a media briefing that he wants to hear the first-hand account of the Teheran meetings directly from Vladimir Putin. Israeli Prime minister Ehud Olmert decided to pay an impromptu visit to Moscow.

KOMMERSANT reports that at a conference in Washington, American economists and businessmen discussed the role of President Putin in Russia’s economic recovery. Business relations between the two countries are going to grow further, so the matter of continuity in economic policy is crucial. The paper says Andrew Kuchins of the Center for Strategic and International Studies assured the audience with the following: “No matter who becomes Putin’s successor, even if it is Putin himself, the economic prosperity of Russia won’t end.”