The Media Mirror - Today's Russian press review

President Putin’s speech at the Luzhniki National Stadium’s Grand Ice Arena; Serbia – what after Kosovo? ASEAN to become an EU in five years – these are main topics in the Russian press on Thursday.

TRUD writes that there hasn’t been such a crowd at the Ice Arena since Khrushchev made a speech in 1960 about the downing of the American U2 spy plane.

The paper quotes one of the leaders of The Young Guard Movement as saying “I urge everyone to vote in a way that would ensure that the controls of the state remain firmly in Vladimir Putin’s hands.”

KOMSOMOLSKAYA PRAVDA has a comment by Vitaly Tretiakov who writes “It’s the first time Putin has mentioned the possibility of an oligarchic or Communist comeback. Putin raised national political worries to the highest level.” The conclusion is: “If there’s danger on that scale, what we really need is a complete electoral victory for United Russia.” The next step, says Tretyakov, may be the naming of his successor. The name is likely to be a surprise for many.

KOMMERSANT builds its report entirely on the premise that the meeting was a sample of American political technology, a clone of American campaign events with a slight trace of vintage Soviet flavour. The paper also points out that some of the people the President criticises for the rip-off privatization are still feeling very comfortable in his own government.

VREMYA NOVOSTEI says “Putin’s successor is going to come out of the United Russia party, and Putin himself will finally join the party as its leader after the Duma election.”

ROSSIYSKAYA GAZETA says Kosovo’s independence is one of the focal points of the work of the diplomatic communities of Russia, the U.S. and EU at the moment. However, continues the paper, Serbia’s long-term goal must be joining EU and NATO, so it will have to overcome the effects of the Kosovo problem, whichever way it turns.

KOMMERSANT reports from Singapore that: the ASEAN summit has set a target of reaching the EU-level of integration within the next five years. The paper says that ASEAN needs to strengthen its unity because of the growing influence of China and India. The paper attributes China’s complete support of the idea to the fact that communities of ethnic Chinese dominate most of south-east Asian economies.