The Media Mirror: what's in today's Russian newspapers?

The Russia papers on Friday carry lots of comment on current political developments in the country; stories about the impending 'uprising of elites' in the U.S. and a story about the U.S. ambassador who focuses on co-operation above competition.

NOVAYA GAZETA Andrey Lipski and Aleksey Poluhin write if Vladimir Putin assumes all the powers of Prime Minister prescribed in the Constitution, he will keep most of the control mechanisms he has in his hands as President. Dmitry Medvedev, says the article, is unlikely to protest.

Yuliya Latynina is an author of political detective novels and columnist of NOVAYA GAZETA. She writes that if Putin accepts Medvedev’s offer, he puts himself in danger – not from President Medvedev but from others among his own team including the former “possible successors”. Putin the Prime Minister will lose the absolute power of Putin the President. That will make him vulnerable.

The same paper, writes the Presidential election, is going to be the cleanest in the History of Russia. Medvedev needs a clean victory to feel independent of the Russian elite and to gain points with the West. The opposition – Mikhail Kasyanov, Boris Nemtsov and others, says the editorial, need a clean campaign so they can say aloud what they think about the situation in Russia.

NEZAVISIMAYA GAZETA. A column by Aleksandr Kynev says nomination of Presidential candidates is a test-ground for the political party’s leadership. On the left wing, the Communists will have to estimate the popularity of Gennady Ziuganov before naming him a Candidate. The right wing has an even bigger problem: at the moment it doesn’t have a universally respected leader.
In America, ROSSIYSKAYA GAZETA columnist and well-known academic Sergey Karaganov calls the U.S. National Intelligence Estimate, that says Iran has no nuclear weapons program, “an uprising of the U.S. elite against the current administration”. He writes, the Intelligence Community played the role of a representative for the professional elite of America, reluctant to be dragged into another war. Karaganov says Russia should get ready to interact with the next U.S. administration in a less conflicting mode. The only people who gain from our quarrels are our competitors.

In IZVESTIA, December 13, the U.S. Ambassador in Moscow William Burns writes of Russia – U.S. relations: while we will have moments of competition and rivalry, as well as co-operation and partnership, in the years ahead, the one thing we will not have is the luxury of ignoring one another.