Russian press review 15.11.06

Russian press offers articles on George Bush's brief visit to Moscow, the prospects of Pakistani-Russian cooperation and intended opening of shipping lines between westernmost exclave of Russia – Kaliningrad region and the West.

“Nezavisimaya gazeta” daily looks at US President Bush’s plans to stop-over in Moscow en route to Hanoi and meet Russian President Vladimir Putin. The paper writes that Bush’s visit aims to ‘unfreeze" America's far from ideal relations with Russia. He hopes to use the dividends from meeting Putin to improve his position in the eyes of the Democrats dominating the Congress, writes the paper. President Bush is expected to support Russia’s bid to join the WTO.
But the ‘green light’ comes with a catch, “Moskivskiy Komsomolets” daily mentions. Washington would like Moscow to change its soft position on Iran. 

The paper also says that Air Force One could easily avoid a refueling in Moscow. It can fly over half of the globe thanks to in flight refueling. Bush’s aircraft, adds the paper, is also equipped with a bathroom, a bedroom, a gym and a conference-hall. It has two kitchens, a mini-hospital, 85 telephones and 19 tv-sets.

“Kommersant” business daily adds that building relations with the US is serious and hard work. Russia, like the former USSR, got used to dealing exclusively with the US administration. But the present situation also calls for effective contacts with the law-makers, writes the daily. It stresses that Russian parliamentarians should rely less on trips and be more active in building a constant presence in Washington.

“Novye Izvestia” newspaper carries an interview with Sheikh Rashid Ahmet, the vice-president of Pakistan’s Muslim League party who is also the country’s railway minister. He says the construction of a railway from Russia to Pakistan and from Pakistan to Iran and Afghanistan as well as gas transit projects would open a new chapter in Pakistani-Russian economic relations.

“Vremya Novostey” daily quotes an official of the Kaliningrad region, Russia’s western-most enclave, as saying they intend to open shipping lines to Europe via the Vistula gulf. Western vessels used to be forbidden to enter Russia's westernmost region, reports the daily. 
And a Polish diplomat in the region, adds the daily, also welcomes the move. But he regrets the time it has taken to open up the gulf as Poland has been courting Russia about the navigation issue for the last 15 years. 
“Trud” newspaper writes about Russia’s lax control over genetically modified products. The reason behind it is the absence of relevant legal provisions on genetically modified food or any strict administrative punishment for violating consumers’ rights.

The daily concludes genetically modified products may have a time bomb effect on the nation’s health. Up to now, there has been too little empirical research of genetically modified goods to claim they are safe for human consumption. The available research offers few grounds for optimism.