Thursday's Russian Press Review

On Thursday Russian newspapers proclaim global government, analyse the future of Russia-EU relations and the possible outcome of the U.S. election, and comment on the Ukrainian political agenda. Here is the review of several of today’s publications:

VREMYA NOVOSTEI writes that the decision by the financial authorities of the leading world economies to implement simultaneous anti-crisis programmes is the first step to a global government. The paper quotes an expert who says: “We have to admit the reality: it is evident that the U.S. is not the main global financial centre any more, that is why it is necessary to tackle the crisis by a joint effort of many nations.”

The same newspaper has a column by Alexander Samohotkin who writes about the U.S. election. He says that Russia figured prominently in the latest debates, but not as a partner in multi-lateral and bi-lateral relations.

Russia emerged from the debates as a threat to U.S. national security, together with Venezuela and Iran. The columnist quotes experts who say: “During the debates Russia was pictured as a non-democratic state which cares most about control over the world energy flow.”

KOMMERSANT continues the topic with a column by Sergei Rogov, a director at the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of the U.S.A. and Canada. He writes that the second debate has shown that economic, not political, issues will dominate the coming election and influence the choice of U.S. citizens.

In that case, says Rogov, Barack Obama’s victory is imminent. The writer also notes the fact that Russia–U.S. relations have unexpectedly become an important issue in the debate, and that both candidates used tough rhetoric addressed to Russia.

NEZAVISIMAYA GAZETA publishes a column by Dmitry Danilov of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Europe where he heads the sector of European security. The academic analyses Russia–EU relations and concludes that the crisis over South Ossetia has highlighted Europe’s ability to act with respect to all the different factors influencing the conflict. He writes that this ability, which the U.S. totally lacks, augurs well for the future of Russia–EU relations, as well as for the creation of a new basic agreement between Russia and the European Union.

IZVESTIA has an article by Vitali Tretiakov, chief editor of Political Class magazine. The well-known political commentator writes that Russian media are in the habit of maintaining that Ukrainian political culture is more democratic than Russia’s. Tretiakov disagrees with the premise, calling Ukrainian politics the ‘Theatre of the Absurd’ instead.

He believes that whichever ruling coalition sits in Kiev, Ukraine’s elite has only one policy: that of trying hard to be accepted into NATO, bringing old Russian territories given to it by Moscow as a gift under EU jurisdiction, and attempting to give away the Black Sea coast to the United States.

Tretiakov says that, after 17 years of such policies, Russia should abandon the hope that ethnic links, a common past and natural gas would one day set things right. They won’t, he says: the only way to stop Ukraine from constantly deceiving Russia is to persuade the Ukrainian political class that cheating Russia costs more than not cheating. That, says Tretiakov, should be an important priority in the forming of Russia’s policy towards Ukraine. 

The same newspaper has an exclusive interview with the Russian Ambassador in Ukraine, Victor Chernomyrdin. Asked about the looming parliamentary election campaign, the envoy says:

“Our main task is to prevent the playing of the ‘Russian card’ by some Ukrainian politicians in the heat of their electoral struggle. We don’t need it. We stated, we will continue saying at every level – including Presidential and Prime Ministerial – that we will work with whoever the Ukrainian people elect.”

Evgeny Belenkiy, RT.