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

Kosovo: self-proclaimed independence would weaken international law. KRASNAYA ZVEZDA – the Red Star, the newspaper of the Russian Armed Forces publishes its 25,000th issue. These topics dominate the Russian press on Friday.

KOMMERSANT writes the UN Security Council has failed to define the status of Kosovo. Now, says the paper, the European Union is ready to step in, with U.S. blessing, and solve the problem in one stroke by recognising Kosovo’s self-proclaimed independence. That may happen in the spring, when Kosovo would be warm enough not to fear Serbia cutting the switch – as electricity comes into the territory from Serbia. The newspaper continues to say that Russia suggested an idea of a “road map” for Kosovo, akin to the map created for the Middle East. The Russian side insists that the unilateral declaration of independence, even supported by some countries, won’t make Kosovo a UN member.

VREMYA NOVOSTEI has an interview with Sergey Lavrov, the Russian Foreign Minister, recorded right after the Security Council meeting. He says: “The UN Charter is the corner stone of modern international law. By trying to bypass a UN resolution on Kosovo the Western nations show that the UN is not ”interesting“ for them any more and that from now on they will solve complex problems outside the UN. Our position is based on international law. We are totally convinced that breaching UN Security Council resolutions is a dangerous game.”

MOSKOVSKI KOMSOMOLETS publishes an article comparing the status of Kosovo and Abkhazia, and finds a lot in common between the two territories. The article arrives at the conclusion that Kosovo independence is inevitable but it does create a precedent and a self-proclaimed republic such as Abkhazia, which has been in existence longer than Kosovo and copes quite well without international aid, deserves to use the precedent of Kosovo in its favour, as do many others.

KRASNAYA ZVEZDA celebrates its 25,000th issue. For over 64 years the paper has been covering the life of the Soviet and Russian military. On December 20, the Day of the Russian Special Services, the paper received a special literary award from the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service, which celebrates its anniversary on the same date. Another recipient of the literary award is George Blake, the famous Cold War spy, for his autobiography.