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12 Mar, 2008 04:02

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

Russian newspapers today focus on a bi-Presidential meeting with MPs as well as on ‘the swap of the century’ – missile defence in return for modernised Polish army.

IZVESTIA reports on Tuesday that the President of Russia Vladimir Putin and the President-elect of Russia Dmitry Medvedev met with a group of MPs representing all factions of the Duma. They discussed the legislative steps needed for Russia’s development up to the year 2020. The incumbent President spoke about the acts to be passed by Parliament that would become the legal base for the innovation economy, family housing, small business, the financing of pensions and the fight against corruption.

KOMMERSANT’s Andrey Kolesnikov writes in his report: “The meeting looked as if it were an after-election attempt at a pre-election political debate between President Putin and former presidential candidates Gennady Zyuganov and Vladimir Zhirinovsky”.

MOSKOVSKY KOMSOMOLETS publishes direct quotes from exchanges that took place during the meeting. On corruption, in particular, it was said:

Zyuganov: “In this country one always has to use money talk to get something done (the Russian idiom is to put stuff on the paw)”.

Putin: “It’s a pity we cannot cut off that paw like in the Middle Ages”…

Zyuganov: “It cannot be introduced at once”…

Putin: “If we just started doing it… At once… that would definitely prevent all other paws from extending”…

The paper says, new anti-corruption legislation resulting from this meeting would definitely take a more civilised form but it wouldn’t be much less strict for it.

VREMYA NOVOSTEY writes during his Washington visit that Prime Minister Donald Tusk of Poland has managed to make the creation of the U.S. missile defence system in his country fully dependent on America’s generosity. Polish diplomacy has made the best use of “the Russian factor”. The Polish side said it feared Russian missiles that would surely be trained on the U.S. missile defence facility in Poland. So Poland needs patriot missiles to defend itself…

IZVESTIYA has conducted an internet poll on the matter. The question was “What do we do with U.S. missile defence in Poland?” The answers were: 65% – “place our missiles in Belarus and around Kaliningrad”, 18% – “stop buying Polish meat and American poultry”, 17% – “we don’t worry, how can just 10 missiles threaten our security?”