The Media Mirror – today's Russian press review

Russian newspapers comment on the Foreign Minister’s speech at the Moscow State University of International Relations on Monday, discuss George Bush’s visit to Iraq, and the sensational result of talks between the U.S. and North Korea.

ROSSIYSKAYA GAZETA writes that Lavrov emphasized the lack of a systematic antagonism between the U.S. and Russia. He said the Cold War is impossible in the modern world.

NEZAVISIMAYA GAZETA’s foreign desk editor Yuliya Petrovskaya writes: Minister Lavrov calls the NATO expansion and missile defence deployment “red line” zones. That provokes doubt about the absence of systematic antagonism. On the other hand, there is his phrase about “new understanding of Atlantism”. This may indicate a closer relationship with NATO in the future.

The lightning visit of President Bush to Iraq on the way to the APEC summit in Sydney is explained by ROSSIYSKAYA GAZETA: the U.S. President wanted some hands-on experience of the situation before the upcoming Pentagon report on Iraq.

VREMYA NOVOSTEI believes it was also a demonstration since the area where the President landed was a stronghold of Sunni militants less than two months ago. And now it is safe for a Presidential visit.

On the sensational result of the consultations between the U.S. and North Korea ROSSYISKAYA GAZETA writes: Pyongyang had no choice but to agree to expose and discontinue its nuclear programme. The recent floods destroyed most of this year’s rice harvest. Famine, much worse than the usual, was looming. The lifting of economic sanctions and direct aid may help feed the people.

KOMMERSANT says, the U.S. may really have promised to take North Korea off the list of the “Axis of Evil.” That would cause the immediate lifting of sanctions. The paper says Bush’s administration needs a foreign policy success after the failure in Iraq as this way the Republican party will have a cleaner record in the electoral race.

IZVESTIA reminds the readers that the existing North Korean weapons-grade nuclear material was totally left out during the consultations. Meanwhile, it is enough to produce from eight to nine nuclear warheads. Nothing was said of the ready warheads either. One of them was tested in October 2006. The paper says, there have to be a few more.

The same newspaper compares the productivity of labour in Russia and other G8 nations. It appears that ours is the lowest. However, writes the paper, a U.S. worker receives a wage of 72 cents per $US 1 of the created product value. A Russian worker gets only 33 cents.