Wednesday’s press review
IZVESTIA looks at one of Russia’s closest neighbours, Latvia, and the measures its directing at tackling the global financial crisis. According to the daily’s analysts, the country approached the economic woes with no surplus in its budget, having barely broken even in the previous years. With the printing industry, the trade unions and businesses being most hit by the 2% rise in VAT, the Latvian government still seeks to blame outside forces (and most notably Russia) for its economic perils.
VREMYA NOVOSTEY, in its front page story, discusses the newly-founded international organisation for gas exporters which was created in Moscow. Energy ministers from 12 of the world’s leading exporters of natural gas created a producers’ group that consumers fear could develop into a cartel. However, as is noted in the piece, the document must first be ratified by governing institutions of all 12 countries before it comes into effect.
KOMMERSANT also places the gas question in focus. It is the unity with which the 12 countries’ representatives spoke of the new organisation which most surprised Kommersant’s correspondent Andrey Kolesnikov. It is an arguably unprecedented display of unanimity coming from such a politically-varied entity. It is also noted that St. Petersburg gave way to Doha, Qatar’s capital, as the city which will host the organisation’s headquarters.
ROSSIYSKAYA GAZETA publishes an opinion piece by Sergey Karaganov, in which he discusses the consequences of NATO refusing to propose a membership plan for Georgia and Ukraine. According to the prominent political commentator, this demonstrates the benefitsame of Russian diplomacy. It is suggested that it was Russian political pressure which prevented NATO from making rash decisions.
KOMSOMOLSKAYA PRAVDA reveals that during August’s Caucasus conflict, Georgian troops received help from Ukrainian, Czech, Turkish and American “militants”. According to the tabloid’s sources, the preliminary results of the Russian investigation were shown to the media on Tuesday. The State Prosecutor's Office is now seeking to create a special government structure dedicated specifically to the events in South Ossetia. Only then, it is said, will the full details emerge.
Anna Bogdanova, RT