Monday's press review

This Monday, Russian newspapers continue their analysis of the world economic crisis, discuss Pan-Eurasian security and touch on new developments in some of the world’s most important issues.

NEZAVISIMAYA GAZETA publishes an opinion article about the Davos forum, calling it ‘a reconnaissance mission at the beginning of an unpredictable year.’ The paper says the forum ended without a sensation, and no one expected a sensation anyway. The paper concludes that:

No unified joint action can be taken against the crisis by the world community. The absence at the forum of the main U.S. decision makers is proof of that. There cannot be an organized way out of a crisis born of chaos, as every country will have to find its own way out.

Western countries maintain their leading positions within the world economy because they have a wide choice of anti-crisis tools, including control over the distribution of their currencies as well as the issuing of bonds and promissory notes. Further, the world has become increasingly one-polar during the early stages of the crisis.

The newspaper points out that there us no point in Russia competing with the West in finance, as the competition should shift into the real sector, which is industry.

Anti-crisis steps taken by different governments must not be confrontational in nature, they must be first of all constructive. It is not right to blame just America alone – it only presents the colorful outer surface of the bubble, but others, including the countries that stashed away a lot in reserve funds, pumped it up, says the paper.

ROSSIYSKAYA GAZETA has an opinion article by president Nursultan Nazarbaev of Kazakhstan who writes that during this global economic crisis it’s counterproductive to keep searching for a guilty party. Instead, he writes, it is necessary to find the deeply-rooted faults within the world financial system and correct them.

The author sees the main villain among these faults being the lack of a World Currency Law which would regulate the choice and the assigning of a currency to be the main exchange and reserve units for the entire planet (the place that is ‘unlawfully’ or ‘pre-lawfully’ occupied by the U.S. dollar;) in the fact that the distribution of such currency (U.S. dollar) is not justified by any democratic procedure or being fair for all involved nations; in the lack of freedom and competition in the way supply and demand of this ‘world currency’ is regulated; and in the uncivilized character of the modern financial market where different rules apply to different nations.

Other problems are the lack of control over monetary distribution by the main users of the ‘world currency;’ and in the lack of effectiveness of the current ‘world money.’ Nazarbaev suggests that the new world should be built based upon a new financial structure, a new structure of capital – or, rather, new forms of capital based, in turn, on a ‘world currency’ based on the world’s conscious choice.

VREMYA NOVOSTEI publishes an article on Russia – U.S. relations by Adrian Pabst of the Theology and Philosophy Center, Nottingham University. He writes that the world can still return to the mode of August, 2008 – before Georgia and the financial crisis, when President Dmitry Medvedev and Senator (presidential candidate) Barack Obama both called for significant change in the world security system during their speeches in Berlin.

The author writes that if the West doesn’t quit ‘living in the past without remembering history,’ and the East stops suspecting the West of aggressive plans, there may be a possibility for presidents Obama and Medvedev to begin rebuilding U.S.-Russia relations on a new basis, and finally developing a stable ‘pan-Eurasian security zone.’

The newspaper also writes that the U.S. and Iran are both making their first, cautious steps towards a thaw in relations, ‘but they are in no hurry to sit down to talk peace.’ The newspaper says the Americans are closely watching how the Iranians celebrate the 30th anniversary of their revolution while the Iranians are attentively following each new step by the Obama administration.

KOMMERSANT writes that North Korea ‘has declared war for Washington’s attention.’ The paper says that Pyongyang has begun a fresh confrontation with the South and has been escalating it in the past few days for the sole purpose of seeking the attention of Washington on Korean affairs at the very moment when the new administration is working out its foreign policy priorities.

The same newspaper has an opinion article on Georgia by Sergey Markedonov of the Institute of Political and Military analysis who writes that a new prime minister in Georgia doesn’t mean anything new is going to happen in Georgian politics, either tomorrow or the day after.

He says the Georgian public is still weary from its defeat in the war but it is not very supportive of the opposition, as the opposition lacks concrete programs and strong sentiments apart from their leaders’ various grudges against Mikhail Saakashvili.

Besides, writes the academic, the future of Saakashvili and Georgia is not so much decided in Tbilisi as in Washington, where the re-evaluation of priorities is going on and the new administration will decide if it is feasible to continue supporting ‘the young Georgian democracy.’

Evgeny Belenkiy, RT