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22 Feb, 2008 03:14

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

In the spotlight of the Russian press today are the following events: a record turnout at the CIS summit in Moscow and Kosovo becoming another nail in the coffin of international law as we know it.

Kommersant writes that the current summit of the leaders of the Commonwealth of Independent States in Moscow is unique: for the first time in years all Heads of States of the post-Soviet nations are attending the meeting.

Nezavisimaya Gazeta says the main talk at the summit is about the consequences of Kosovo’s self-proclaimed independence for the unrecognised states in the post-Soviet space.

Vremya Novostei publishes an interview with the President of Ukraine, Victor Yushenko, who is in Moscow for the summit. He says if Ukraine enters NATO, no new threats will emerge for Russia. The Ukrainian President reminded the paper’s readers that the course towards NATO membership has been part of the nation’s Doctrine of National Security since 2003. However, the President confirmed again that Ukraine is going to stay nuclear free and that there’s no chance of a NATO base at the port of Sevastopol.

Kommersant publishes a commentary on the CIS by Petr Luchinski, the former President of Moldavia. He writes that the Commonwealth has successfully fulfilled  its first task – a civilised divorce of the former Soviet republics. Now it’s time to rebuild it for new tasks, such as integration. Russia in that case would have to contribute more than now, and the organisation would have to be based on different principles. But it is possible. So, says Luchinski, The Commonwealth is dead. Long live the Commonwealth!

Global Affairs’ Chief Editor Fedor Lukyanov writes that the Kosovo controversy is another event in the process of the degradation of international organisations. It has been going on since the end of the Cold War. It’s not just the UN, writes the author. It’s the WTO, the OSCE, the IMF and others. In the past 17 years the world has been going from the confrontational stability of two equally powerful camps to a destination still unclear. The international institutions we have now are best functional in a cold war. They are getting less and less effective now. Meanwhile the power accumulated by such states as the U.S. tempt them to base their policies on military might of today instead of international law created for yesterday. It means, writes Lukyanov, that mankind will have to repeat quite a few lessons of the past 100 years.