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

Four main stories dominate the Russian papers on Monday – the Union of Russia and Belarus, U.S. missile defence in Europe threatens to become a new Iron Curtain, Kosovo and the imminent loss of the UN’s jurisdiction and a statement by the Pope

VREMYA NOVOSTEI writes that the summit of the Russian and Belorussian presidents produced no sensations. There have been rumours that the Russian side would persuade Belarus to sign the Constitutional Act right away, to create a post-election job for Vladimir Putin as President of the Union of Russia and Belorus.

ROSSIYSKAYA GAZETA says, General Yuri Baluevski is warning that the shape and trajectory of U.S. anti-missiles closely resemble those of nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles, and their proposed flight path will inevitably take them into Russian airspace. They can be easily mistaken for nuclear missiles, says the General.

NEZAVISIMAYA GAZETA says the problem of U.S. missile defence in Europe has become an impassable barrier between Russia and the U.S. – a virtual reflection of the Iron Curtain of the Cold War times.

KOMMERSANT writes the EU has made up its mind about Kosovo. The leaders of the EU member states agreed on the order by which to recognise Kosovo’s independence. The paper quotes an EU source saying the final touches are being added at the moment to the Declaration of Independence of Kosovo – by specialists at the U.S. State Department.

In MOSKOVSKIE NOVOSTI Pavel Kandal’ calls that option a “velvet amputation” and says that if Washington and Brussels consider Kosovo a special case, we shall let them face the practical results of their own illusion. We still operate in the categories of Morality, Justice, at the least in UN diplomatic game. Washington and Brussels are about to drag Kosovo into a different field – that of practical policies. So, writes the author, we shall learn from them. We should not be holier than the Pope.

VREMYA NOVOSTEI writes, Pope Benedict XVI urged Catholics not to worship personal happiness. It leads to the spread of a culture where individual happiness and joy take the place of God.

An expert quoted by the paper found nothing extraordinary in the words of the Pontiff as the rejection of happiness as a principle reason for living is normal for any church. Meanwhile, pursuit of happiness is included in several Constitutions including the Constitution of the United States.