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

The Russian press focuses on ‘Putin’s Plan’, and there are comments on the President’s Council of State speech of February 8, 2008.

In ROSSIYSKAYA GAZETA Dr. Dmitry Orlov writes that the choice of very ambitious goals makes the speech a true claim for long-term national leadership on the part of Vladimir Putin. It is only to be expected, he continues. During Putin’s presidency the income of the average Russian rose nearly threefold and the number of Russians living below the poverty line shrunk 50%.

The same newspaper quotes another expert Gleb Pavlovsky: "Half of those present at the meeting were sure that our economy and our life are lacking nothing, and the President was going to confirm that. But he didn’t. Instead Vladimir Putin suggested we should set new goals and start off in pursuit of them immediately.

VREMYA NOVOSTEI says that after the end of the meeting comments ranged from “Putin has left a will” through “He’s not leaving” to “He didn’t say anything new”. However, says the paper, what the President said was: You think everything’s fine with us and it will continue? No way. If we continue living the same way we do now, everything will turn bad.

Andrey Kolesnikov writes in KOMMERSANT: “Vladimir Putin has finally announced to the public something he has presumably possessed for quite a while but that no one had seen before: the Putin Plan.”

VEDOMOSTI writes while the President said there’s not a single serious reason for us to fail in achieving the goals set in his speech, he nevertheless named quite a few himself: corruption, ineffectiveness of governance and of a government-regulated economy.

A NEZAVISIMAYA GAZETA editorial writes by defining goals up to the year 2020 Vladimir Putin drew a blueprint of existence – for himself, for the next President, the nation and its citizens. The paper goes on to say by planning to become Prime Minister he's intentionally destroying the strict vertical line of command in order to prove to himself and to the people that his plans are feasible.

IZVESTIA says it’s clear from the speech that at least for the moment Vladimir Putin is seriously considering his return to the post of President. The strategy suggested by the speech covers the period up to 2020 – the final year of the second term for the fourth President of Russia.