The Media Mirror – what’s in today’s Russian press

All eyes are on Georgia, where Mikhail Saakashvili counts inauguration guests and the opposition counts the street protesters – by the thousand. Also on the agenda: reports that Moscow and Washington may seek compromise on missile defence in Eu

ROSSIYSKAYA GAZETA reports that while Mikhail Saakashvili is celebrating his victory, he also regrets Georgia's falling out with Russia during his first term. Meanwhile, says the paper, the opposition is predicting a troubled presidency. The paper also suggests that President Bush's decision to take his time before congratulating Saakashvili hasn't improved the overall mood in Tbilisi.

KOMMERSANT says that unusually cold weather in Tbilisi won’t allow a new Rose Revolution. On the other hand, the paper writes, leaders of the opposition themselves are against anti-constitutional actions, so there is no chance of a revolution anyway.

KOMSOMOLSKAYA PRAVDA quotes a wisecrack that's doing the rounds on the streets of the Georgian capital: Saakashvili is like Tbilisi winter – disgusting but inevitable. The paper also notes the total absence of police on the route of the main protest demonstration on Sunday. However, adds the paper, the political show in Georgia is just beginning.

MOSKOVSKI KOMSOMOLETS quotes a well-known Russian saying: it’s too late to start drinking mineral water when your kidneys are falling out. It sums up Mikhail Saakashvili’s idea of reconciliation with Moscow. The damage has been done, says the paper, and it won’t be easy to repair.

The same paper writes: with the new Polish government announcing that improved relations with Russia are among its priorities, the prospects for a compromise on U.S. missile defence in Europe have improved. The paper also quotes an American expert saying a breakthrough may well happen before the end of George Bush’s term as President.

And finally, an editorial in NEZAVISIMAYA GAZETA says the main thing elections in Russia and the U.S. have in common is that after an election there is a new President. However, if in the U.S. an electoral campaign lasts two years and doesn’t reveal the winner – his name is not announced until the last ballot has been counted on election day.  In Russia the campaign has hardly started in earnest – but we already know who’s going to win.