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14 Aug, 2007 01:17

The Media Mirror - What's in today's Russian press?

Today Russian newspapers cover the visit of Albert II Prince of Monaco to Russia and possible solutions to the Kosovo problem.

Most newspapers have reports on the joint visit of Albert II Prince of Monaco and President Putin to the republic of Tuva. There is the usual parade of headlines, ranging from “Presidential Fishing Hour” in KOMSOMOLSKAYA PRAVDA to “Prince Vladimir” in the official ROSSIYSKAYA GAZETA – a reference to the first Christian ruler of Russia, a historical figure and a legendary hero on the scale of Britain's King Arthur.

Kosovo is the focus of several analytical articles. ROSSIYSKAYA GAZETA reports on the unexpected twist as one of the members of the UN contact group, German diplomat Wolfgang Ischinger, raised the idea of dividing the region into two separate entities “if the both sides are willing to do it.”

VREMYA NOVOSTEI calls such a division “surgery” and continues to say that non-division of Kosovo has been so far one of the main principles in dealing with the problem. Breaking it means taking a decision that, like full independence, creates more problems than solves. It will definitely cause a great lot of relocation, the Serbs living in the smaller enclaves deep inside Albanian-populated areas would have to take refuge in the future Serb zone. Monks from Serbian Orthodox monasteries would have to abandon them. And there would be no reason left for the Albanian zone not to join Albania proper after a while.

Meanwhile, writes the paper, the Albanian side doesn't want to loose the North of Kosovo as that area, full of mineral deposits and boasting a well-developed infrastructure is earmarked for the base of the economy of the independent Kosovo.

The Serbs, on the other  hand,  say they will not give away a single foot of their territory.

In general, the division looks like a solution feasible only for the case of the two sides' total disagreement, and it doesn't seem that it can be implemented without being forced upon the region by outside influence, says the article.

And more of the forecast by Sergey Karaganov, one of the 100 most influential intellectuals of the world by the estimate of Foreign Policy magazine, published by  KOMSOMOLSKAYA PRAVDA. He said on Kosovo:

“Russia has already won there: if the West talks the Serbs into Kosovan independence, we are still winners – we held on to our principle position for so long, and it is the Serbs who yielded. Now we can hand the unruly place over to the EU to become their headache, not ours.

If the decision on Kosovo is different from total independence, we have proven that our position on world issues cannot be ignored anymore.”