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

Russian newspapers give a good deal of attention to the country’s foreign policy. They focus on speeches by the Foreign Minister and the newly appointed Russian representative to NATO in a bid to find out what new goals the next president will have to de

VREMYA NOVOSTEY publishes a detailed interview with Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.  In it, Lavrov outlines the major foreign policy issues of the last year. According to Lavrov, Putin’s speech in Munich was definitely one of them. Its aim was to urge Russia’s partners to get rid of post Cold War stereotypes and ideology and to jointly solve the new challenges.

Commenting on one of them, Kosovo, Lavrov says many western countries “made up their minds to grant the province independence at any cost, even at the expense of breaking international law”.

Lavrov also mentions Russia’s initiative to the United States to jointly use its radar base in Azerbaijan’s Gabala. The minister calls it a totally new approach, implying mutual trust and full transparency of intelligence data. The minister emphasises that accepting the proposal could lead to an unprecedented level of partnership and co-operation between the two countries.

KOMSOMOLSKAYA PRAVDA has an interview with another top foreign affairs official, Dmitry Rogozin.  He was recently appointed permanent representative to NATO. According to Rogozin, the alliance has huge potential and ambitions to boost its expansion – also at the expense of Russia’s national security. He believes NATO “is a Western military machine, which declares dangers in the South but for some reason expands to the East”. Rogozin also criticises the U.S. anti-missile plans which could lead to a dreadful scenario: U.S. missiles – if fired to intercept virtual Iranian ones – could fly towards Russian territory automatically activating Russia’s anti-missile system.

Finally, political analyst Fyodor Lukyanov, VEDOMOSTY, outlines four main foreign policy targets for the new Russian president. First, he will have to invest in alliances with the country’s partners. It’s expensive, but strategically profitable. Second – Russia shouldn’t only say “no” to most of its western partners’ proposals, but actually pursue a more active diplomatic policy. Third – Russia must strike a global deal with the EU on energy security and mutual investments – that could further boost the general co-operation between Russia and the West. And finally, writes the paper, Russia needs a precise and well-calculated policy with Asian countries, which play an increasingly bigger role in world politics and economy.