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

The focus of Thursday’s Russian press is on President-elect Dmitry Medvedev, and also on the independence of Kosovo. The newspapers feature a number of interviews and comments on the issues.

KOMMERSANT daily writes that for the first time in post-Soviet history the status of a President-elect has been defined. It was done by the incumbent president in special order number 295. The paper says in the previous transfers of power there was no need for such a document as the president-elect and the incumbent were always one and the same.

MOSKOVSKI KOMSOMOLETS commentator Yulia Kalinina believes those who believe the new president to be a mechanical extension of the previous one are making a mistake. The author writes Vladimir Putin fulfilled the task of bringing order out of chaos. Dmitry Medvedev is to continue on his path and complete the transfer from communism to a social security-minded market economy-oriented state.

VEDOMOSTI business daily quotes commentator Fyodor Lukyanov concludes that those nations that have problems of their own with separatism are in no hurry to recognise Kosovo’s independence even under pressure from Washington.

NEZAVISIMAYA GAZETA has an interview with Xavier Solana, who says of Kosovo’s impact on unrecognised states, including the post-Soviet ones: “We agree with Russia – we should stay within the limits of existing negotiation formats. I think it would benefit every side”.

The same  paper also publishes an interview with well-known American diplomat Richard Holbrooke, who says there were only three options in Kosovo. To return it to Serbia, which would have caused an instant war. To leave it under UN jurisdiction indefinitely, which was unrealistic. Or to give it independence with full guarantees of a special status for the Serb minority. “I totally disagree with the Russian position on Kosovo. Russia could have played it with a lower degree of tension. But, and I want to be absolutely clear about this, we will never return to a Cold War,” said Mr Holbrooke. 

VREMYA NOVOSTEI reports on the political crisis in Serbia. The opposition, writes the paper, is stirring up a quarrel with the EU, as well as with like-minded non-European nations who support Kosovo’s independence. If the tensions in the Serbian parliament and cabinet escalate further, continues the paper, it all may end in the dismissal of Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica.