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15 Feb, 2008 02:40

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

The papers on Friday cover Vladimir Putin’s record-breaking annual press-conference. And – Kosovo seen as an unrecognised State of America.

NEZAVISIMAYA GAZETA. Vladimir Putin answered one hundred questions for the Russian and international media. The Q and A was mostly about his work and the nation’s progress in the past eight years. However the President also gave the journalists a glimpse of the future: an imminent change in government structure, and in the Presidential executive office. The paper writes, Putin also reminded the public: by the Constitution, the President is its Guarantor and the Prime Minister is the nation’s top executive.

KOMMERSANT. The President spoke of his next job as Prime Minister without “a ritual mentioning of the electorate that might or might not support him”. Also, the publication’s Kremlin watcher Andrei Kolesnikov noticed Vladimir Putin didn’t say he wasn’t going to run for President in 2012.

VREMYA NOVOSTEI writes: based on the President’s media conference it can be said the three-level government structure built after 2004 will be reformed right after the next election. The system, in the President’s words, “didn’t work”. It caused some inconvenience in the division of functions, especially for the ministries that had State Agencies and State Services attached, with no one entirely sure, who does what. The paper says, the Ministries will be strengthened, and their functions consolidated.

KOMSOMOLSKAYA PRAVDA presents a statistical report on all the President’s annual press-conferences: the first one lasted 2 hours and comprised 400 participants. On Thursday it lasted 4 hours 40 minutes with 1364 journalists present. The paper says Vladimir Putin has shown he’s full of energy for another eight years.

An IZVESTIA reporter saw Kosovo as the most pro-American place on Earth, with the Statue of Liberty put on top of a hotel roof and Bill Clinton routinely called The Father of Kosovo Independence. The writer quotes a Kosovo Albanian who says: in our politics to criticise America amounts to political suicide. Dragodan, the diplomatic district in Pristina has become a kind of supreme authority – not all of the district but the U.S. mission. It’s like our Politburo. They even banned a most lucrative deal with Gazprom, and we obeyed.