The Media Mirror - Today's Russian press review

Three main issues come up in Russian newspapers on Thursday – the option to base Iskander missiles in Belarus, the lifting of Georgia's state of emergency and the vexed question of who a President serves – the people or the Constitu

Everyone reports on the sale to Belarus of the Russian short-range missile complex Iskander. IZVESTIA writes the missiles are sold at the prices of Russia's domestic market. Many even see it plainly as the deployment of Russian missiles in Belarus. Iskander can be very easily upgraded to the category of medium-range means of delivery. In that case, if a political decision would be made, the complex could become an “asymmetrical” response to the U.S. missile defence elements in Poland and the Czech Republic.

VREMYA NOVOSTEI reports from Georgia: the pressure from the West is the main reason for the lifting of the state of emergency. However, continues the paper, the main opposition TV channel Imedi is off the air. A court decision of November 8th revoked its license. The channel is being accused of corroboration in a plot against the existing political system.

IZVESTIA writes, it took massive U.S. involvement and a threat to cut financial aid to persuade President Saakashvili to lift the state of emergency. It was the first time, says the paper, that Saakashvili dared to challenge his American allies. The paper also says, its source overheard the use of obscene language during the high-toned conversation between Saakashvili and the U.S. Ambassador, John Tafft.

Well known Russian movie director Stanislav Govorukhin says on the opinion page, it's not too late to speak of Vladimir Putin's third presidential term. He says: nations are capable of great deeds only when the people trust their leadership. History has proved that multiple times. The people didn't trust Khrushev and Brezhnev. They trusted Yeltsin and Gaidar even less. Under these leaders the country was slowly sliding down into an abyss. Now the trust is there, and it is getting stronger every year. Our constitution, writes Govorukhin, was created in haste, during the terrible days of 1993. Maybe it's time to set up a Constitutional commission which, without hurry, with enough time to think, would amend the Constitution to make it match the values and spirit of our time, as well as the expectations of the people?