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20 Aug, 2007 07:18

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

The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation new mission, the anniversary of 1991 coup and 75th anniversary of Russian writer Vasily Aksenov are in the spotlight of Russian newspapers today.

IZVESTIA, writes that the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, created as a forum of neighbouring states in order to resolve their border disputes, has outgrown its original mission as much as NATO or the Commonwealth of Independent States. History proves that in such circumstances an international organization would rather find a new mission than dissolve.

For the SCO, continues the paper, there are two ways to go: there can be emphasis on the economic cooperation, or the military.

It is evident, warns the article, that both components will survive to a point, but in the long run China’s desire will be to turn the SCO into an economic mechanism responsible for its oil and gas supply. It can help China avoid total dependence on the Middle East, which could prove fatal in case of a blockade of the Persian Gulf.

Also, it may help China to gain control over the economies of other member countries.

KOMSOMOLSKAYA PRAVDA remembers the attempted coup of August 1991 and the starting point of the collapse of the Soviet Union. How did the former Soviet republics fare after that? asks the paper.

Some became democracies of various types. Some retreated into feudalism. Some maintained their sovereignty.

Economically, life is better in Russia, Belorus, Kazakhstan and the Baltic states. The economy of every post-Soviet nation is linked with Russia in a bond that is hard to break. The article says:

“We may be in different carriages but we are travelling along the same road. We may not unite again but we will be getting only closer to each other.”

VREMYA NOVOSTEI reports how the long and fierce argument between the Church and secularists ended in a form of compromise. The clash was over teaching religion in school.

The subject they start teaching as an experiment to grades 10 – 11 is called “The Basics of World Religions”. It is not mandatory.

The original version bore the title “The Basics of Orthodox Christianity” which caused a stir among members of other religions communities that exist in Russia, neglected by the authors of the project.

ROSSIYSKAYA GAZETA is celebrating the 75-th birthday of Vasily Aksenov. The paper says few words concerning his biography, known to most Russian readers:

One of the most famous Russian authors, Aksenov was forced to leave the Soviet Union in the 1980s, his citizenship revoked, and he never entirely returned – now he lives in both Russia and the U.S.

Aksenov’s writing is magnetic, says the paper, you like it or not, you turn the pages and suddenly you understand that you’ve read all and loved it.