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18 Feb, 2008 02:45

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

Kosovo’s declaration of independence is the main story in Russian newspapers on Monday.

ROSSIYSKAYA GAZETA writes that the unilateral declaration of independence by Pristina provokes new conflicts. As an example the paper quotes an official representative of the Bask administration in Spain saying the declaration presents a solution to a problem similar to that of the Basks, by the means of the democratic right of nations to self-determination.

NEZAVISIMAYA GAZETA writes that international peacekeeping and police forces have been on high alert since last week. However, the publication continues that it’s in the best interest of Hashim Tachi to guarantee order and quiet at least as long as 2000 journalists and observers from 40 nations are still in Kosovo.

The paper also says that in spite of creating more conflict where there’s no agreement anyway, meaning Russia’s relations with the West, the declaration of Kosovo’s independence presents Russia with as many new political options as it does new risks.

The same newspaper has an article by a Balkan expert, Dr. Valentin Voronov who writes of the Kosovo declaration of Independence: together with the idea of an American missile defence in Europe this inelegant way of solving the Kosovo problem threatens to increase international tension and worsen relations between the West and Russia.

VREMIA NOVOSTEI quotes an unnamed diplomatic source in Brussels as saying that by sending into Kosovo a civilian-police mission without the consent of the Security Council, the European Union commits an attack on the UN. The paper also describes how on Saturday police stopped several hundred yet unarmed Serbian reserve soldiers trying to get into Kosovo. How much time will pass, wonders the paper, before armed volunteers enter the picture?

KOMMERSANT says the protests of Moscow and Belgrade against Kosovo’s independence would not lead to a sharp increase in tensions between Russia and the West. However the paper doesn’t dismiss the possibility of Moscow’s factual if not official recognition of Abkhazia and South Osetia.

VREMIA NOVOSTEI. An interview with Hashim Tachi. He says of Kosovo’s independence: this is not a unilateral declaration. We are just making our independence official, that’s all. On Serbia: We’ll make every effort to persuade Serbia to recognize an independent Kosovo. If it happens, says Tachi we, in turn, are ready to recognize the independence of Serbia.