Monday's Press Review

AFP Photo / Alexey Sazonov
This Monday Russian newspapers continue the analysis of the global financial crisis, leak the Russian Government's new priorities in foreign trade, attempt to find true reasons behind the U.S. sanctions against Rosoboronexport and present material evidenc

Here is the review:

ROSSIYSKAYA GAZETA publishes an article by economic expert Igor Yurgens who says the excessive issue of derivatives in the U.S. residential mortgage sector became the trigger for the current financial crisis. The author writes that today derivatives of various types circulating in various sectors of the global economy exceed the volume of the real economy by the factor of ten. Therefore, he continues, apart from the residential mortgage bubble which has already damaged the U.S. financial system, there are scores of similar bubbles elsewhere, waiting to blow up. The author insists that only a new global financial system, a more democratic one and free from the domination of the U.S. dollar, can save the World from further crises.
 
NEZAVISIMAYA GAZETA quotes an unnamed source in the Ministry of Economic Development of Russia who says the Foreign Economic Policy Programme, 2008 – 2020 will be discussed by the Government behind closed doors and that its contents will remain classified. The source says the main idea of the document is aggressive economic expansion in the Eurasian economic space. That means, he says, that the priorities of foreign trade and economic cooperation will be changed. So far Europe has been Russia's main business partner but the Programme suggests reorientation to the Asian part of the continent, mainly to countries like India and China and post-Soviet states. The source also reveals that there will be a declassified summary of the Programme published in the Media. The paper says some experts are reluctant about strategic planning in times of crisis, they say it would have been wiser to plan short-time and return to the long-term planning after the crisis has passed.
 
VREMYA NOVOSTEI writes that the new sanctions adopted by Washington against Russia's main state-operated arms exporter, Rosoboronexport Company, are caused by reasons different from those announced. The U.S. is accusing the Russian company of 'proliferation' which must mean participation in the Iranian nuclear program. However, says the paper, a connection with a recent sale to Iran of 29 Tor-1M anti-aircraft missile complexes is more probable. The U.S. considers the acquisition by Iran of missiles capable of destroying enemy cruise missiles and 'smart' bombs in flight at a 6,000 meter altitude to be a breach of military power balance in the Central Asia and Middle East. The paper says, this particular sale, as well as the planned sale to Iran of Russian S-300 missiles will not effect the balance in a slightest way. The paper continues to say that the only negative result of the sanctions may fall on the U.S. itself if in response Russia stops supplying titanium to the Boeing Corporation.
 
IZVESTIA comments on the same situation. The paper says apart from the actual deals by Rosoboronexport the U.S. 'cannot live with,'there is also a trend that causes more and more concern in Washington every year: the renewed Russia's active and aggressive role in the World weaponry market. In the past years Russia has been signing contracts and delivering weapons to those parts of the World that used to be exclusively U.S. markets. The paper calls the U.S. sanctions against the Russian company 'an unfair means of competition.'
 
KOMMERSANT reports on the Senate by-election in the Czech Republic. The Social-Democratic Party won the by-election and changed the balance of power in the Republic, writes the paper. The SDP won over the electorate with its promise to return some social security benefits, especially medical, nullified by a recent reform. Apart from that, says the paper, the question of the elements of the U.S.missile defense system in the Czech Republic is now hanging in the air. The paper says, there are calls for a public referendum on the issue, and the new balance of political power may shift the majority opinion in the parliament toward that option.
 
KOMSOMOLSKAYA PRAVDA interviews two Russian experts, one police weapons and explosives specialist and one military expert on NATO-standard weapons who worked in South Ossetia for a whole month on an invitation of the South-Ossetian government, studying 'the catch of war' – Georgian weapons, ammunition, uniforms, bullet-proof vests, etc., left by the Georgian army on the battlefields. The experts say most of the weapons looked tough but in fact were makeshift. Grenades, for instance, looked very much like grenades made in the U.S. but their yield was ten times lower. A good portion of the ammunition of the 5.45 caliber could be easily broken by hand and contained moist gunpowder. Bulletproof vests had real American breastplates but were badly sewn together. One of the experts says the only things that worked properly in the Georgian army were the Grad multiple-launch systems and anti-aircraft missiles – all Russian models with Ukrainian tuning. He says, the impression he had was of a disposable army, formed to be used only once. He wonders where the 5 billion U.S. dollars of American aid had gone, if most of the supposedly American weaponry was, in fact, fake and made in Georgia? He says it is obvious that someone in Tbilisi has enriched himself immensely as a result of this war. The paper also presents photographs of weapons and equipment as evidence of the experts' words.
 
Evgeny Belenkiy, RT