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The Media Mirror – Today's Russian press review

Plain courtesy or secret diplomacy? – Foreign Minister Lavrov pays a lightning visit to Tehran. A Presidential prayer – Vladimir Putin prays for the victims of Soviet era political repressions.

ROSSIYSKAYA GAZETA writes, before the trip to Kazakhstan, Sergey Lavrov warned the accompanying journalists that the trip was going to be interesting. They understood his phrase only when, after Kazakhstan, the aircraft left for Tehran instead of Moscow.

VREMYA NOVOSTEI says, the communiqué of negotiations in Tehran is written in elaborate diplomatic language but does not add much to public knowledge of what the negotiations were all about.

Dr Nina Mamedova of the Oriental Studies Institute says: “Russia might have offered to create a Russian-Iranian uranium enrichment joint venture with the participation of Western companies. The offer might have already been approved by Washington.”

KOMMERSANT says the meeting became necessary after the announcement of the new sanctions by the U.S. Moscow, says the paper, is concerned about the possible effect these sanctions may have on Russia.

NEZAVISIMAYA GAZETA quotes the International Herald Tribune saying the U.S. is ready to be more flexible on the issue of conventional arms in exchange for the softening of the Russian stance on Kosovo and Iran.

On the Presidential visit to the Memorial of the Victims of Soviet-era Repressions ROSSIYSKAYA GAZETA writes, Vladimir Putin came to the Butovo testing range in the company of the Patriarch, Aleksy II, to pray for over 50,000 people executed there in 1937-38. The paper quotes Aleksandr Daniel of the Memorial Society saying it was the first time the President made a personal contribution to the commemoration of the victims of the political terror.

Andrey Kolesnikov of KOMMERSANT writes: in his speech the President called Communism a failed ideology that proved empty. He did it for the first time ever. He said it in such a plain and clear way that I believed him instantly.

NEZAVISIMAYA GAZETA writes the land of the Butovo testing range used to belong to the KGB and later – to the Federal Security Service. Then it was somehow transferred to the Russian Orthodox Church. The priest who has been in charge here since then calls this a miracle.

KOMSOMOLSKAYA PRAVDA has found the land transfer document by which the FSB gave the land to the Church. The signature was by the Federal Security Director of the time: Vladimir Putin. No other media mentioned this document.