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

The Russian press recalls the August 1991 coup, writes about the continuing race for the North Pole, and publishes an interview with a security expert who comments on Russia-U.S. relations.

The race for the Arctic is gaining momentum, writes VREMYA NOVOSTEI. After Russia, Canada made its claim, and by doing this, “stepped on the toes” of its main foreign policy partner – the U.S. A lively discussion between the two nations unfolded in Montebello, Quebec, at the North American Summit. Since 1973, writes the paper, Canada has been repeatedly claiming sovereign rights over a certain passage from the Atlantic into the Pacific Ocean. The U.S., however, considers the Canadian claim insufficiently grounded.                        

The newspaper quotes Mexican President Felipe Calderon, who also is taking part in the summit, as saying: ‘there is an invisible third party in the U.S.-Canada argument. This invisible non-present participant is Russia’.

NEZAVISIMAYA GAZETA has an article by an international security expert, Dr. Aleksey Bogaturov. He comments on the policy of containing Russia, which, he thinks, is being reborn in the West. He agrees with another recent article, by Sergey Lavrov, the Russian Foreign Minister. Mr Bogaturov believes the U.S. cannot accept Russia as an equal partner. And Russia is not yet an equal of the U.S., at least in economic strength.

On the other hand, he writes, the U.S. does not need an equal partner, especially such as Russia, armed with nuclear weapons and high technology and claiming superpower status.

So, he continues, we shouldn’t hope that America will help us in gaining a higher status in the world. At most, the world may return to the old bipolar stance with the U.S. on the one end of it and Russia on the other. America won’t let this world have more than two centers. And even this would only happen if it could not maintain its sole superpower role, says the article.

IZVESTIA daily remembers the coup of August 1991 and talks to one of its strong supporters, General Varennikov, the Army Commander of the 1990s. After the coup failed, he spent 1.5 years in jail and another year on trial. Then came Yeltsin’s amnesty, writes the paper, and all prisoners except Varennikov accepted it. Half a year later the court acquitted Varennikov of all charges.

The old General says, “I do not regret anything. I was fighting to preserve my country, the one I gave my oath to protect”.