The Media Mirror – Today's Russian press review

Today’s Russian press gave prominence to the Russia – EU summit in Portugal, with the newspapers quoting a number of officials’ comments on the issue.

Kommersant writes that the current summit symbolises a step back in relations between Russia and the EU. An EU official said to the paper: “this is the strangest summit ever – the two sides have so many arguments and so little common ground that it’s hard to understand what co-operation we are going to discuss.”
 
Nezavisimaya Gazeta quotes EU Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner who says the summit is an opportunity to rise above everyday business and take a look at the strategy we are going to use in our co-operation.
 
The Commissioner also speaks on the Russian election: “I sincerely hope that Russia will invite observers from various international organisations and let them do their work.”
 
Kommersant has an interview with Javier Solana, the EU Foreign Affairs and Security Representative. Asked about Russia-EU relations, he says: “At this summit we are going to take a break, look at things calmly and try to find more untapped opportunities.”
 
Vremya Novostei has another interview with Javier Solana. He says: “for Europe Russia is the biggest and most important neighbour.”
 
The same paper has an opinion piece by Dr. Timofey Bordachev of the Centre for European Studies in Moscow. He writes that after the Lisbon EU summit of October 19, the new face of Europe is emerging. That is a Europe not centered on its internal problems and issues between its member states. It’s a Europe set on the firm pursuit of its interest in international relations, and a Europe that considers energy as the main element of its national security. Russia does the same. This would hardly add to mutual trust and common ground.
 
Komsomolskaya Pravda says, it will be hard for us to talk to Europe unless they understand that today’s Russia is as different from the soft, subservient Russia of the1990s – ready to sell anything for a couple of cents – as today’s Europe is different from Europe right after WWII.