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

The Russian press focuses on ‘a visit of surprises’: in Moscow President Islam Karimov said nothing about gas. And the U.S. Primaries as seen from Russia.

VREMYA NOVOSTEI writes that President Islam Karimov of Uzbekistan surprised the public by not acting in line with the assumptions made prior to his arrival. He didn't speak about natural gas prices. He didn’t bring his daughter, a newly-appointed Deputy Foreign Minister to meet President Putin, and he didn’t meet Dmitry Medvedev. The goal of the visit, says the paper, was to highlight the strategic partnership with Russia. Also, Islam Karimov said a very emotional good-bye to Vladimir Putin as President and tried one last time to persuade him to run for a third term.

KOMMERSANT’s Andrey Kolesnikov writes Islam Karimov’s speech in praise of Vladimir Putin went beyond all farewell speeches ever delivered in honour of retiring high officials in Soviet times.

VREMYA NOVOSTEI explains to the Russian reader that, for American democracy, the Primaries play  the same role as the 7 per cent barrier in Russia’s parliamentary election – it filters out those candidates who do not fit in the mainstream of current politics.

The bad news is that in today’s political mainstream badmouthing Moscow has become good manners.

MOSKOVSKI KOMSOMOLETS says that among the Republicans Senator McCain is winning so far but whether he will win over most of the conservative majority in the end is still unclear. Among the Democrats, Hillary Clinton is slightly ahead but it’s way too early to disregard Barak Obama as a candidate.

KOMSOMOLSKAYA PRAVDA quotes Dr Victor Supian of the Institute of the U.S. and Canada in Moscow: McCain and Clinton both have been using anti-Russian rhetoric extensively in their campaigns. Neither of them is ready to deal with Russia as an equal partner. Obama is much milder in his attitude. That certainly makes him more appealing to Russia than other candidates.

IZVESTIA presents the results of its Internet poll. The question: Which of the candidates is better for Russia? Hillary Clinton as the first-ever female candidate and wife of Bill, who was our friend: 9 per cent. Barak Obama as young and ambitious, capable of the reforms that America needs badly:  21 per cent. John McCain – if elected he will forget his anti-Russian rhetoric: 3 per cent. Whoever they choose our relations will not improve: 47 per cent. Whatever – our President is Vladimir Putin: 20 per cent.