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13 Mar, 2008 03:59

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

On Thursday, Russian newspapers look at the U.S. election through the eyes of Russians. A foreign policy knot consisting of Kosovo-Abkhazia-NATO-Afghanistan is examined and famous Russian poet Sergey Mikhalkov’s celebrates his 95th birthday.

VREMYA NOVOSTEI says up to 41% of the adult population of St. Petersburg and Moscow follow the U.S. Presidential campaign. The figure is one of the results of an opinion poll gathered by the Russian Institute of Public Opinion Research. 19% of participants would like Hillary Clinton to win, with only 4% back Barack Obama and zero for McCain.

NEZAVISIMAYA GAZETA writes that the visit to Paris of the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has shown that French and Russian foreign policies have more in common than was expected. The paper says that Paris is ready to promote the signing of a new basic agreement between Russia and the EU. Also, France shows no enthusiasm about a NATO membership programme for Ukraine and Georgia.

KOMSOMOLSKAYA PRAVDA’s Larisa Kaftan writes that Kosovo has triggered ice-shifting all around the Commonwealth of Independent States. Russia has unblocked Abkhazia economically, Georgia is complaining but doing nothing. The Transdniester Republic accepts a wide autonomy on the condition Moldova doesn’t join NATO. The writer says, the shift has started as predicted, and there’s nothing to stop it.

VREMYA NOVOSTEI says the U.S. has tried again to talk to Central Asian republics, members of the CIS and, more importantly, of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, behind Russia’s back. The paper says, Russia insists on relations in a format NATO – CSTO, especially on issues concerning Afghanistan. The paper also quotes the Russian Ambassador to Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov, who says: “we won’t let NATO units out of Afghanistan until they solve all the problems they have created there.”

ROSSIYSKAYA GAZETA celebrates the 95th Birthday of Sergey Mikhalkov. The famous poet is also the author of the lyrics of the Soviet and Russian national anthems. Mikhalkov hasn’t lost any of his quick wit that allowed him to say to his critics in 1943, about the anthem: “laugh now, while you can, guys. Because you will have to stand up to these words for the rest of your lives.”