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23 Oct, 2008 06:08

Thursday's Press Review

Thursday's Press Review

This Thursday Russian newspapers look forward to the summit of the Top 20 in Washington, explore the dialogue between U.S. and Russian Generals as a useful inheritance of the Cold War and predict the World’s future from the Greek island of Rhodes where th

ROSSIYSKAYA GAZETA reports on the summit of the financial Top 20: the G8 plus a few European and several ‘new industrial’ countries, the 20 leading economies in the World. The paper says it is high time to understand that no nation can fight the current crisis alone: every country in the group has been injecting billions of dollars into its economy in the past weeks, so far with limited results. The paper says, Washington predictably suggested calling the meeting after the U.S. election, and everyone agreed. However, writes the paper, Washington, in its announcement of the Top 20 summit, speaks of the gathering as a joint effort to strengthen the system of Capitalism, while many other nations are convinced that liberal Capitalism, so dear to the heart of the U.S. administration, is now approaching the end of its existence.

VREMYA NOVOSTEI writes that the Top 20 Summit scheduled on the 15th of November will be special for two reasons: its agenda and the appearance of the newly-elected U.S. president at the gathering. The paper also says that there is a ‘built-in’ conflict in the summit agenda: the U.S. and their closest allies will be pursuing further liberation of the World economy and preach the omnipotence of the free market while many others are blaming liberal Capitalism and globalization for their suffering from the crisis.

The idea of a new World financial architecture suggested by the French president Nicolas Sarkozy, says the paper, has the potential support of quite a few nations among the Top 20. Apart from that, whatever the fastest-growing economies – China, India and Russia – have to say would be listened to with a lot of attention.

However, continues the paper, the new U.S. president and his administration will insist on liberal Capitalism, no matter which of the two candidates wins the election. That is why there is a chance that the summit will end with another ‘bite-less’ final document. That, says the paper, would be a disappointment for the whole World, and a dangerous one: it may weaken the World’s fighting spirit needed to overcome the crisis.

IZVESTIA has an exclusive interview with Vladimir Yakunin, the Chairman of the International Public Conference ‘Dialogue of Civilizations’ that recently closed its 6th meeting on the Greek island of Rhodes. Yakunin says that at the previous meetings – one and two years ago – the current financial crisis was predicted, and it is sad to see how unprepared for it we found ourselves. He says the main cause of the crisis is the fact that with economic neo-liberalism as the main ideology, the whole of the World economy wound up working for one nation, the U.S. He adds: in the economy a multi-polar World is as necessary as in politics: one country, however big and powerful, cannot control everything and single-handedly maintain the economic stability of the World. A new global financial system, free of neo-liberal presumptions elevated to the status of sole ideology, is an urgent necessity.  

NEZAVISIMAYA GAZETA writes that a meeting of U.S. and Russian military top brass has achieved more in the sense of repairing bilateral relations that suffered during the conflict in the Caucasus than several meetings of the two nation’s diplomats. The paper says at the meeting in Helsinki, the Chief of the Russian military’s General Staff General Nikolay Makarov and Admiral Michael Mullen and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff agreed on a plan of normalisation of bilateral military contacts, and there is a hint that they also decided to attempt to return relations between Russia and NATO to the format of the NATO-Russia council by the end of this year. The paper says that the direct military dialogue which has a long history going back to the hottest periods of the Cold War, comes handy when diplomats are carried away by rhetoric. The article says that the people at Smolenskaya Square and Foggy Bottom may learn a good lesson of pragmatism from their military colleagues.

KOMSOMOLSKAYA PRAVDA notes that anti-Russian rhetoric in the U.S. election campaign is on the rise, especially with the running mates of the two candidates. Lately there was a prediction of ‘tough times’ for the next U.S. president in dealing with Russia which becomes a threat because of its oil and gas riches, and a direct accusation that Russia is going to invade Ukraine. The paper asks Sergey Markov, the Director of the Institute of Political Research, for a comment. He says the rhetoric is there to gain additional votes, especially in the states where there are a lot of ethnic Poles and Ukrainians. That is one reason. Another one is that the anti-Russian version of racism is not considered politically incorrect in America. And the third reason is that neither of the presidential or vice-presidential candidates is free from the Cold War mentality. We just have to hope that when one of the two becomes head of the administration next month, they will abstain from the exclusive use of that sentiment only in their dealings with our country.

Evgeny Belenkiy, RT