Russian press review 23.11.06

Russian press writes about Russia's energy friction with the EU, upcoming meeting between the Russian and Finnish presidents, setting up a regional disaster control centre in Asia and the possible cause of the A-310 plane crash in Irkutsk.

“Gazeta” newspaper cites the opinion of Russian Industry and Energy Minister Viktor Khristenko on Russia’s energy friction with the European Union. He believes a compromise could be found if the EU agrees to modify the text of the Energy Charter and takes account of the energy security recommendations issued at the G8 summit in St. Petersburg last July.

EU foreign policy expert Emma Udwin told “Gazeta” the EU shared the minister's views. She added Europe was ready to include the G8 summit conclusions in a new Partnership and Co-operation Agreement even if Russia is not ready to ratify the Energy Charter yet.

“Novye Izvestia” daily writes that Thursday’s meeting between the Russian and Finnish presidents could prove to be more productive than the Russia-EU summit.  The paper says the Russian-Finnish talks will focus on ways to unclog traffic congestions on their border, a gateway for most imports coming into European Russia.

“Rossiyskaya  gazeta” newspaper looks at the idea of setting up a regional natural disaster control centre in Asia. It has been proposed by the Russian Emergencies Minister Sergei Shoygu to his counterparts at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization or SCO meeting in Beijing.
The minister says the center’s headquarters might be located in Russia, China or any other country in the region. A developed infrastructure, an airfield, good communication system and warehousing are the basic criteria to be met before a decision could be made.

“Vremya Novostei” newspaper says the recently announced conclusion that pilot error was behind the A-310 plane crash in Irkutsk is hard to believe.

The daily also quotes the head of the Russian flight security commission as saying the plane’s left engine switched on automatically because of a rough landing. However, the paper concludes, the question why the pilots failed to switch it off remains open.

Staying with the issue the “Kommersant” business daily has asked several pilots about a possible cause of the aircraft crash. They believe, writes the paper, it is incorrect to blame only the crew, while an air traffic controller and the imperfect design of air traffic control equipment are also responsible. 
And a representative of the Russian air company told the daily that “the International Aviation Committee certifies all airfields and airplanes imported to Russia. Hence, experts don’t want to hold air traffic controllers or equipment responsible. So, the pilots can be easily blamed given that they are no longer alive”.

“Moskovskiy Komsomolets” daily reports that for the first time in Moscow blind waiters will serve diners in a completely dark restaurant. Guests will be able to choose a surprise menu and have to guess what they have just eaten, reports the daily. Thus, in darkness the customers can focus only on taste, the restaurant’s director told the paper. The restaurants are already extremely popular in London, Paris and Berlin. Clients come back again and again to solve the menu puzzle, writes the daily.