The Media Mirror - Today's Russian press review

The visit of the French President Nicolas Sarkozy to Russia still dominates the pages of the country’s press. As much attention is paid to the unveiling of a monument to the Franco-Russian fighter pilots in the Second World War as to the talks between th

ROSSIYSKAYA GAZETA has a detailed report. Judging by the words of the two Presidents at the Kremlin Media briefing on Wednesday, they had discussed most of the important matters over dinner the previous evening.

VREMYA NOVOSTEY writes, President Sarkozy did a lot of homework before coming to Moscow. He met with the Presidents of Ukraine, Poland and the Czech Republic to gain first-hand knowledge of their positions on the issues to be discussed in Moscow. He also visited Budapest. In Moscow, writes the paper, Sarkozy had words with President Putin after a meeting with the students of the Bauman University of Technology: “I told them, I’m all for Franco-Russian partnership. I’m here now to discuss this partnership with you”, he said.

KRASNAYA ZVEZDA, the Defence Ministry newspaper, concentrates on the opening ceremony of the monument to the Franco-Russian fighter group, Normandy, that fought on the Eastern Front during WW II. The monument was erected in Lefortovo Park. The paper says it was a logical choice: it’s a region of Moscow with the highest concentration of military education facilities and sites related to Russian military history and tradition. The two leaders presided over the opening ceremony.

NEZAVISIMAYA GAZETA’s headline reads: Dreams and Fantasies of President Sarkozy. It appears, writes the paper, seeing Red Square immediately after waking up had been Nicholas Sarkozy’s dream for years. Inspired by the fulfilment of that dream, says the paper, the French President immediately turned to business: he asked for Gazprom shares for French companies to purchase and, it seems, got them.

KOMMERSANT’s Andrey Kolesnikov writes: he tried to figure out where President Sarkozy could have seen Red Square from after he woke up. It could not be seen from the National Hotel where he stays. The only way it could be done, says Mr Kolesnikov, was out of the windows of the Bosco Bar at the GUM Shopping Mall.

The author also says that at Lefortovo the figures of the two Presidents walking away after the ceremony bore the strongest resemblance to the figures of the two WW II pilots – French and Russian – depicted by the monument. The pilots are depicted walking away from their fighter planes, very tired, after a successful dogfight.