Russian press review, 26.01.07
The Russian press tries to find out whether Russians approve of their country's policy towards Belarus and also analyses political status quo in the Chechen Republic as one year is left before presidential election there.
Vedomosti publishes a poll suggesting most Russians approve of their country's policy towards Belarus and do not want a unified state. According to the figures, the vast majority don't think the recent oil crisis was politically motivated, chalking it down simply to market relations. However, one third of Russians accept Belarus has a right to make similar business related moves, in response.With one year left before elections in the Chechen Republic, Rossiyskaya Gazeta takes a look at who could become the next President. Alu Alkhanov says he won't run for a second term, and there's uncertainty over Ramzan Kadyrov's ambitions. Despite apparent antipathy, the acting Prime Minister seems to hold absolute popularity among Chechens. The paper says the situation in the Republic has become more stable in recent years, with many putting it down to Kadyrov.Meanwhile, Nezavisimaya gazeta reports on a school headmaster in the Russian region of Perm facing up to 6 years in prison, for allegedly using pirated Microsoft software on school computers. The paper says it could be a wake-up call in a country where illegal software is used not only in homes and schools, but also in governmental bodies. The paper suggests a precedent could be created for similar cases across the country. However, the report says Russian schools cannot afford to buy licensed software, at ten times the price.Nezavisimaya gazeta also focuses on the winter weather that has finally reached the European part of Russia. Heavy snowfall affected Moscow airports, with almost 30 planes forced to land elsewhere. Forecasts say next week, temperatures may fall to minus 20. However, the paper says farmers aren't worried, with the frost unlikely to affect the harvest. The gradual change from warm to cold has preserved the crop. Agricultural experts say the most dangerous period could still be the end of February.And finally, the new Moskva hotel is nearly finished and it will be the spitting image of the old soviet building according to Izvestia. Situated in the heart of Moscow, right next to Red Square, the old Moskva was torn down in 2004, despite mass protests. The paper says the construction company has kept its promise and built an exact copy on the outside, leaving all the modern refurbishment on the inside. The hotel is set to open in June 2007.