Russian press review, 25.12.06

Russian press writes about UN sanctions against Iran regarding Russian interests in the country, analyses possible consequences of the Turkmen president’s sudden death, and takes a look at the events of the past.

“Rossiyskaya Gazeta” daily newspaper dwells on UN sanctions against Iran based on resolution 1737.

The paper says the resolution is a clear signal for Iran to begin closer and more active cooperation with the IAEA.

However, Iran thinks otherwise and even threatens to minimise cooperation with the IAEA.

According to the daily, experts see it as a bad step since the international community might lose a last chance of keeping an eye on Iran’s nuclear programs.

At the same time, “Vremya Novostey” daily newspaper believes that, thanks to Russia, the UN resolution is much milder than it could have been.

Moreover, the daily says that Russia succeeded in protecting its interests in Iran. In particular, the resolution does not affect the Bushehr nuclear power plant being constructed by Russian specialists.

The paper quotes Russian experts who believe the power plant cannot enrich uranium to the levels needed for nuclear weapons.

However, the paper says the resolution will definitely prevent Iran’s final goal – to get hold of such weapons.

“Kommersant” business daily analyses possible outcomes in Turkmenistan following the Turkmen president’s sudden death.

According to the daily, the acting president is unlikely to become the new Turkmen leader because he lacks independence.

Real power is held by law enforcers who will definitely nominate their own candidate unlikely to give a green light to changes in the country.

Meanwhile, the Turkmen opposition is calling for reforms.

The paper says they are possible with assistance from Russia or the West.
The opposition has already put out feelers.

“Nezavisimaya Gazeta” daily newspaper writes about releasing a final report by a parliamentary commission on the Beslan siege.

According to the paper, the report admits minor mistakes by authorities but says their actions on the whole were faultless.

At the same time, the daily quotes one of the mothers of Beslan who does not agree with the official investigation.

According to her, the outcome is completely biased and protects those responsible from punishment.

“Komsomolskaya Pravda” newspaper takes a look at the events of the past.

27 years ago on December 25, the Soviet troops crossed the Afghan border launching one of the unluckiest Soviet campaigns ever.

The daily says the withdrawal of the Soviet Army opened the way for the Taliban, which coalition forces are doing their best to fight.

According to the paper, experts believe NATO troops have failed to succeed in Afghanistan.

However, their withdrawal from the country will affect Russia and the nearby region.

The paper says the idea of having a fundamentalist state spreading drugs on Russia’s borders is not appealing at all.