Russian press review 16.11.06

Russian press touches upon the problem of corruption in the country, interviews new ambassadir of Israel in Moscow, writes about the prospects of the Russian-US relations, looks at the health of Russian population.

“Rossiyskaya Gazeta” looks at corruption in Russian society. The daily writes that corrupt Russian officials, allegedly including State Duma deputies, hinder the solution of many problems, including the struggle against extremism and racist crimes.

The newspaper hopes a new anti-corruption unit set up at the Prosecutor General’s Office will decrease graft in state bodies.

The Director of the Center of corruption studies told “Novye Izvestia” daily  that Russian officials operate with huge amounts of illegal money that outweigh the risks of any punishment. Hence, they abuse their official position.

“It’s a big question how lame Russian courts and investigations can really fight corruption,” quotes the paper.

“Nezavisimaya Gazeta” newspaper carries an opinion of Israel’s ambassador to the United States Daniel Ailon on Iran’s nuclear program. He says there's nothing to stop President Bush from using force against Iran, including air strikes and a limited ground operation, if diplomatic efforts and sanctions don’ t work.

And Israel’s new ambassador to Russia Anna Azari in her interview to “Kommersant” business daily spoke positively about Russia’s stance on Iran, despite some differences with Israel, and Russian policy in the Middle East.

She also told the daily Russia had increased its international role and was approaching the place it should occupy in the world arena.

Anna Azari says she will focus on cultural and economic ties with Russia, including the advancement of Israeli high-tech products in the Russian market.  

Meanwhile, “Vremya Novostey” newspaper interviews Russia’ s former Premier and Foreign Minister Evgeniy Primakov on the prospects for US-Russian relations.

He says the Bush administration needs Russia to back its position in the US by accomplishments in the Middle East. 

Russia  has  a unique opportunity to contact those countries and organizations that are now unreachable by Washington, such as Syria, Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah, Primakov goes on to say.

He suggests that the quartet of the Middle East peace mediators, including the U.S., UN, the European Union and Russia, should draft a compromise plan to settle the conflict.
“Moskovskiy Komsomolets” daily looks at the first results of the all-Russia medical examination of the able-bodied population.

The daily reports that 9 out of 10 Russians need some form of medical treatment.

But Russian women were the main shock for physicians. The paper writes almost half of them should undergo treatment. The most frightening thing, it adds, is their readiness to have abortions – the official figure is 1.5 million a year. And it’s a catastrophe against the backdrop of the falling birth rate, concludes the paper.