Russian press review, 25.01.07

The Russian press analyses economic relationships between Russia and India, looks at the sexual harassment case of Israeli president and focuses on Estonia’s WW II memorials bill.

As president Putin visits New Delhi, the Trud newspaper looks at trade between Russia and India and says it is not impressive. Some Indian experts reportedly think Russian businessmen are missing out because they do not know how to tackle a local market where competition with other foreign companies is high. According to experts quoted by Trud, a shortage of modern high-tech products from Russia is hindering trade relations.

Another hot topic of the day – the accusations against Israeli President Moshe Katsav – is featured by most Russian print media.

Novye Izvestia daily asks whether a rapist, briber or a defrauder could become leader of Israel? The paper dismisses the idea as strange because everyone has to pass through checks – especially by the Security Service.

According to the Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspaper, the Israeli political elite is confident Moshe Katsav will not keep his post for long and a new presidential race has already started. The paper says it seems the president himself has lost all hope of coming out of this situation unscathed.

And Trud daily looks back at the alleged affairs of other world leaders. The paper says while love can blind the mighty of this world, it should not be confused with sex and mixed with politics.

Vedomosti business newspaper focuses on Estonia’s bill which allows the demolition of Soviet memorials and removal of the remains of Soviet soldiers. The daily says if Estonia passes the law, it will cross the line between a civilised society and a barbaric one. Vedomosti says, while other countries may have decided to remove Soviet monuments, none went as far as removing graves. And though Russia could respond in kind, the paper stresses, it should refrain from doing so. Instead it should concentrate on making Europe realise that Estonia is violating ethical norms and international law.

And Vremya Novostey daily looks at George W. Bush’s annual State of the Union address warning the critical stance of the Democrats should not be overestimated. The paper quotes a certain Russian political expert who says: though the opposition is threatening to stop financing Bush’s Iraqi plans, the two sides will find a compromise in the end. According to him, both parties are in this together, and even Democrats will have to demonstrate patriotism and help American soldiers in Iraq.