The Media Mirror, 14.06.2007

The discussion on the place of Russia in the modern world which never stopped entirely during the past two decades became more active and lively after the G8 summit, the St. Petersburg Forum and Tuesday’s National Day celebration.

ROSSIYSKAYA GAZETA columnist Vitaly Dymarski writes that in his opinion, calling June 12 Russia’s birthday brings confusion into the matter. A lot of people in the country are still not sure what they are celebrating on this date. The Declaration of the State Sovereignty of Russia adopted by the Parliament of the then Russian Soviet Federal Socialist Republic was the beginning of the process that led to the fall of the Soviet Union and the creation of the Russian Federation in its modern form a year later. The columnist writes:

“In our country everything new is mixed with many things old in such a proportion that the well-known literary critic Natalia Ivanova called this cocktail ‘Nostalgic Present’.”

“An ordinary citizen is duly puzzled: are we going forward, having started moving on June, 12, 1990, or are we walking backwards under the pretext of respecting every page, black or white, in our history?”

It is interesting how perfectly timed was the visit to Moscow of Professor Francis Fukuyama reported by the same newspaper, who immediately made his mark upon the discussion. He came to Russia to present his new book on the crisis of neo-conservatism in the U.S. but he also had a lot to say about Russia, in his opinion, a separate culture based on Orthodox Christianity and authoritarian traditions, but that the influence of globalization will eventually level out the difference between the political traditions of Russia and the West.

NEZAVISIMAYA GAZETA writes in an editorial about the ‘Heilingendamm process’. The paper says that the most important results of the G8 summit were the acceptance by the U.S. of the necessity to enter the campaign against greenhouse gases, the admission by Russia of the threat presented by Iran and the new tolerant atmosphere that prevailed in the relations between Russia and the West after weeks of ‘cold war’ rhetoric.

VEDOMOSTI echoes this statement in an opinion article saying that the summit and the Forum in St. Petersburg changed the attitude of the Western leaders towards Russia, but this “warming” is due only to the economic interest.

How do you think a narcotics detective would react to an ad in a magazine with a two-inch headline shouting at him: Marijuana! KOMSOMOLSKAYA PRAVDA writes that the whole print-run of a 3,000 copy circulation local monthly magazine was impounded in the Amur Region in the Russian Far East for an ad for Italian make up with the delicate scent of cannabis. The law is strict: promotion of illicit drugs is a felony too.