The Media Mirror, 29.06.07

The Russian press touches on President’s meeting with a group of MPs from the United Russia party and also speculates over U.S.-Russian relations on the eve of Putin-Bush summit.

On Thursday President Putin met with a group of MPs from the so-called “Government Party”, United Russia. “So called” because the party controlling the majority in parliament can only describe the President as its “moral leader”, as Putin is not even a member. Most papers including VREMYA NOVOSTEI have reports on the meeting.
ROSSIYSKAYA GAZETA writes how the President expressed his appreciation of the policies of the party, and especially of the non-populist nature of the party’s initiatives in Parliament. Surveys show that “United Russia” has support of no less than 45% of the electorate, all that without populist slogans.
KOMMERSANT’s Andrey Kolesnikov publishes a report that, in spite of his habitually ironic style, makes the meeting come alive for the reader. The headline reflects one of the curiosities of our long-lasting transitional period: Putin being told about “The Putin Plan.” That is the name of the semi-official party programme compiled of the President’s speeches which, put together, make up a comprehensible plan of action for the state for years to come. The only problem here is the fact that another party claiming “government” status and slightly weaker in Parliament, the Fair Russia party, also has a similar plan and also claims Putin as its own “moral leader”. Kolesnikov’s article concludes with a quote from a United Russia functionary who says, he can live with that, and that he would even be glad if “the leader of the Communist party, Gennady Ziuganov, would call Putin his moral leader too.”
Here is an article by the living legend of IZVESTIA, Malor Sturua. A very popular and influential journalist for over four decades, a commentator and interviewer who’s on first name terms with world leaders, Malor now divides his time between Russia and the U.S.
The article is titled “Why Bush the son invites Putin to the house of Bush the Dad?” According to Sturua, Walker-Point is a very special place where George W Bush, the president of a superpower nation has to obey when his mother tells him to get his feet off her coffee table. Sturua quotes the senior Bush on that. But speaking seriously, Bush the son might need the help of his father for this meeting with Vladimir Putin. Sturua writes:
“Bush the father, unlike his son, is not a man of impulse but a man of compromise, not a romantic but a realist who knows how to reach common ground on controversial issues.” Those qualities may be in great demand in current Russia – U.S. relations.