The Media Mirror – Today's Russian press review

The Russian press focuses on EU-Russia relations and discusses the situation in Turkey and Iraq.

VREMYA NOVOSTEI writes that the leadership of the European Union seems to be counting the days to the end of Vladimir Putin’s presidential term. The paper writes that at the final media briefing they kept addressing the Russian leader with words of farewell. But President Putin surprised them by inviting them to hold the next summit in Hanty-Mansiysk, Siberia, at the beginning of next year. It means that if it happens before the Presidential election or right after it, he will be hosting the meeting.

VEDOMOSTI writes that the European media paid little attention to the summit. They were too busy with European matters. The article says that the recent weakness of Europe was related to the failure to adopt a constitution and is now in the past. Europe is again a whole and healthy economic organism and Russia will have to take this into account.

NEZAVISIMAYA GAZETA says the Mafra summit surprised observers by its more constructive atmosphere in comparison with the previous meeting in Samara. President Putin was firm in his stance on Russia’s WTO membership. He also urged Europeans not to fear Gazprom and other Russian companies as potential investors. The President pointed out that none of those companies was 100 % government controlled.

VREMYA NOVOSTEI has an article by Hiski Haukkala, an expert from Finland. He says, the two sides must understand how much they need each other. Instead of losing time on tactical discussions, Russia and EU need to co-operate, even integrate with each other. That’s the only way, he writes, to leave some chance for a Greater Europe in the 21st Century: a chance to prosper, not fade beside such giants as China, India and the U.S. 

On the situation around Turkey and Iraq, NEZAVISIMAYA GAZETA says that diplomatic efforts are being made by countries that have Kurdish minorities to ensure a peaceful solution of the crisis. Iran, Syria and the U.S. are all involved.

VREMYA NOVOSTEI writes Turkey is criticising its NATO allies for a lack of cooperation on the issue of Kurdish terrorism. The paper says American support of Iraqi Kurds doesn’t help improve Ankara’s mood. So Ankara is turning for help to Iran and Syria and, together with them, criticises the allied forces in Iraq for “double standards”. Now, continues the paper, the Turkish Prime Minister, Erdogan, is preparing to meet with the U.S. President, George W. Bush, for serious talks.