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11 Jan, 2008 05:30

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

Friday's newspapers have interviews with Dmitry Rogozin, the new Russian representative to NATO. Also in the spotlight is the Georgian presidential election.

Rossiyskaya Gazeta has an interview with Dmitry Rogozin, who is expected in Brussels a week from now as the new Russian representative. Rogozin says it took NATO two months to accept his appointment because there are 26 member countries in the organisation and all of them had to be asked. The paper says the procedure is pure diplomatic politeness. Russia’s partners know well that the appointment of representatives is the sovereign right of every nation. Dmitry Rogozin also says Russia's relations with NATO are not only of interest to the Foreign Ministry. They touch on areas of interest to practically every member of the Russian Cabinet. So, he says, he will not be representing the Foreign Ministry alone. Rogozin, says the paper, is a talented linguist who speaks five NATO member languages: French, Spanish, English, Italian and Czech. He says: I also speak Ukrainian but I hope I will never need it in Brussels. 

Trud says that Rogozin is going to buy a motorcycle to ride it to work in Brussels, leaving the official car for official occasions. The paper quotes a few experts on Rogozin's appointment.  Alexander Rahr, Germany: The fact that not a diplomat but a man with a firm position was appointed means he is going to talk to NATO in non-diplomatic language. Vyacheslav Nikonov: the appointment of Rogozin, a staunch critic of NATO and its expansion, is an indirect signal to NATO that we don’t really like your policies… The paper also presents a few quotes from Dmitry Rogozin’s public speeches of the past few years, like this one: The closer the NATO bases are to us, the better. Metaphorically speaking, if yesterday we needed missiles to get them, now machineguns would suffice. 

Izvestia also has an interview with Rogozin. The paper asks – so, who are you going to be now, Sir? A politician? A bureaucrat? – Rogozin answers firmly: an official of my country. 

Now to Georgia – the same paper writes that after the election many Georgians were surprised to find their long-dead relatives among Saakashvili's supporters. The paper quotes one of them: can you imagine what I felt when I found the name of my grandma on the voters’ list? God bless her soul in heaven! She passed away quite a while ago. But it appears, she voted for Saakashvili too…