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7 Sep, 2007 09:18

The Media Mirror – Today's Russian press review

President Putin’s Eastern voyage continues to dominate the front pages of Russian newspapers.

As the papers report on the same set of events, there is the usual parade of headlines: Sukhois and tourists will fly to Jakarta, A Billion for Russian Wings, A Billion for Luck, Our APCs (Armoured Personnel Carriers) will roll into Jakarta.

Rossiyskaya Gazeta writes about the one billion US dollar arms deal between Russia and Indonesia. Moscow is giving a $US 1 BLN loan to Jakarta. The money is earmarked for the purchase of Russian armaments.

Matters of international politics and civilian trade, and economic cooperation, discussed by the two sides were no less important. The paper says, Russia and Indonesia agreed that the problems of the modern world, such as terrorism, do not have military solutions. Both nations support the central role of the UN in the emerging new world order.

The paper says, Vladimir Putin hardly spent one full day in Jakarta. But he managed to squeeze into it enough work for a month.

Vremya Novostei writes jokingly that the visit of the Russian President, the way it went, may bring back to life “The Bandung Spirit”. Bandung, a city in Indonesia, once hosted a conference of 29 Asian and African nations. Then, in 1955 these nations were united in their refusal to succumb to the domination of American Imperialism. The Indonesia of that time, under President Sukarno, was the closest friend of the Soviet Union in South East Asia.

Komersant, as usual, describes in great detail the signing of every Russo-Indonesian business deal. It starts with the $US 1 BLN loan. At least three more giant deals were launched in Jakarta apart from the military contract. All of them strictly civilian: in the spheres of energy, telecommunications and mineral resources.

Sergey Kolesnikov, the Kommersant Kremlin watcher writes, at the signing of the $US 1 BLN loan an Indonesian protocol officer mistakenly brought Sergey Storchak, the Russian Deputy Finance Minister, to the big desk to sign the loan agreement. The minister was not too eager to do it. It’s simply not his job. The Vneshekonombank  Managing Director was there for that very reason. The article says an awkward moment followed. Suddenly President Putin asked: 'Isn’t the director of the bank here with us?' Let him sign. But the minister was already sitting at the desk. So, two signatures were applied to the agreement on the Russian side: the director’s and the minister’s.