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2 Feb, 2008 08:00

The Media Mirror – this weekend’s press

In this edition: Dmitry Medvedev through the eyes of a political analyst. What Russia can do about Kosovo independence? The Transdniester republic as an Anti-Kosovo. And – Déjà vu: once again there’s no sex in Russia.

ITOGI has the picture of the week: Dmitry Medvedev speaking to the Second Citizen Forum in Moscow about his vision for Russia’s future.

EXPERT. Gleb Pavlovski writes: Provided that Dmitry Medvedev wins the election, the Russian bureaucracy will have to involve itself in the process of implementation of his foreign and domestic policy. From Medvedev’s public speeches it seems neither of the two will be exactly the same as today. Pavlovski thinks the bureaucracy is not ready for this task, as it doesn’t know much about how things really work at the grassroots level.

MOSKOVSKI KOMSOMOLETS: we are experiencing the worst rift in Russia-US relations in 20 years. Some Russian experts quoted in the article say U.S. foreign policy is to blame. Mikhail Deliagin says that if Russia pursued a similar policy towards countries neighbouring the U.S., America would have long since declared war on us.

GLOBAL AFFAIRS. Fedor Lukianov says, if Kosovo declares independence Russia will most probably limit its direct reaction by a diplomatic means of response. However, he continues, if the self-declared independence is recognised by the West, it won’t go without consequences for other self-declared nations lacking that kind of recognition.

PROFILE’s cover story features one of them: the Transdniestr Moldavian Republic. The lead article says the population here is Russian, Ukrainian and Moldavian in equal proportions. Ethnic tolerance is evident everywhere. And the locals, often with no regard to their own ethnicity, say this land is Russia.

The Republic President, Igor Smirnov, says ‘we are not playing any games here. We live and make History. And we are Russia-oriented. We have a whole generation of people who see themselves as citizens of Russia’.

OGONYOK writes, there’s no sex in Russia. Again. In Soviet times party bureaucrats used to say there is no sex in USSR when in fact there was. Now it’s the reverse: there’s an average European amount of sex in the media and TV commercials – but much less in the bedrooms of Russia’s emerging middle class. Researchers say overwork, the fear of AIDS and of psychological collisions and the consumerist orientation of society are all contributing to a picky and lazy attitude to sex.