The Media Mirror - Today's Russian press review

Russian newspapers sum up the results of the Dushanbe summit, analyse possible consequences of the President’s announcement to run for Parliament, and look at former Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov’s appointment as head of the Foreign Intelligence Service

IZVESTIA reports on a round table of political scientists held over the weekend by the ITAR-TASS news agency. Gleb Pavlovsky, Dmitry Orlov, Leonid Polyakov and Mikhail Leontiev all agreed: after President Putin’s announcement that he is going to run for Parliament on the United Russia ticket, that the Duma election has turned into a referendum on the people’s confidence in the President.

VREMYA NOVOSTEY writes about the record number of agreements and other documents signed at the Dushanbe summit. At the end of Ramadan, the Muslim Lent starts, so grand meals with toasts were out of the question. The paper says – that may have sped up the work.

The paper adds the most important decisions were taken at the summit on the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO).

KOMMERSANT says, the summit turned the CSTO into a full-blown military and political bloc. It will have its own peacekeeping force, the members will buy Russian arms at domestic market prices. On top of all that, a former chief of Foreign Intelligence has been appointed Executive Secretary of the Commonwealth of Independent States. That, says the paper, means one thing: Russia intends to recover its influence in the post-Soviet space and prevent any new “colourful” revolutions.

ROSSIYSKAYA GAZETA writes that usually the President celebrates his birthday quietly with his family. This time, his last in the capacity of President, the Commander-In-Chief invited highly decorated officers and generals of the armed forces, and widows of officers who died in the line of duty.

“He is well known to everyone” – with these words the President appointed former Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov to head the Foreign Intelligence Service of Russia, writes VREMYA NOVOSTEY. The paper notes, there was only one civilian Director of Foreign Intelligence before, Evgeny Primakov.

KOMMERSANT says Mr Fradkov is a political appointee as much as Mr Primakov was. Evgeny Primakov played a positive role as Director. He saved Foreign Intelligence from falling apart in the early 1990s. He also managed to reduce the brain drain from intelligence to private businesses. The paper says Mr Fradkov may become a good spymaster after all.

VREMYA NOVOSTEY notes the 40th anniversary since the death of Ernesto Che Gevara. The paper says Che is still remembered far away from Argentina, Cuba and Bolivia as a legendary hero. Some say now – there is more of Robin Hood in him than Communist.