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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 June 2007, 13:13 GMT 14:13 UK
Russian media foresee frosty summit
Russian press

The flare-up between Moscow and Washington over US plans to base a missile defence system in central Europe is generating considerable comment in the Russian media.

Analysts and commentators say the row is overshadowing the G8 summit taking place in Germany, where key differences between Moscow and other G8 players over issues such as Kosovo are also likely to emerge.

State-owned media take a typically supportive line over what they say is President Putin's "independent stand" on the missile shield issue.

Article in daily GAZETA

Vladimir Putin will come to the summit for the last time in his capacity as the head of state and will most likely remind his Western partners of Russia's concerns over the US National Missile Defence (NMD) plans and gradual transition of Kosovo to independence, even though he will not be able to influence the final decision... This means that the atmosphere at this summit will be the coldest since Russia's entry into the elite club.

Andrey Terekhov in centrist daily NEZAVISIMAYA GAZETA

The concern of the Poles and the Czechs has been fuelled by strong statements from Moscow which warned that its missiles will be aimed at targets in Europe if the USA carries out its NMD plans. Analysts fear that the raised tone of rhetoric between Moscow and Washington may spoil the atmosphere at the G8 summit.

Boris Andreyev in popular tabloid KOMSOMOLSKAYA PRAVDA

It appears that by sharply criticising the US plan to deploy a missile defence system in Europe and by threatening to provide an appropriate response to this challenge, Vladimir Putin disturbed the entire "Western ant-hill". His statements caused extreme irritation overseas and in certain parts of the Old World [Europe].

Yuliya Petrovskaya in centrist daily NEZAVISIMAYA GAZETA

Putin's interview has provoked a wide response on the eve of the G8 summit. It is clear that there is no question of softening the tone of the polemic with the Americans.

Nataliya Alekseyeva in pro-Kremlin daily IZVESTIYA

Russian experts have already described the interview as the continuation of the Munich speech and as part of a new line in foreign policy whereby Putin says in public what usually stays behind the closed doors of talks. Obviously this approach provokes a rather tough reaction but this is exactly what the Russian president expects. Now the ball is in the court of the G8 leaders Putin will meet in Heiligendamm.

Political analyst Vyacheslav Nikonov on state-owned VESTI TV

For the first time in many years, Russia said that enough was enough. We are not going to support something which would destabilise the international situation. The West took it very badly. They are not accustomed to Russia taking an independent stand which it was not expected to take.

Presenter Petr Tolstoy on state-controlled CHANNEL ONE TV

The geopolitical balance, which led to the longest period of peace in history during the second half of the 20th Century, was based on parity between the forces of two superpowers. Now attempts are being made to disrupt this parity and this could lead to irreversible consequences.

Correspondent Igor Kozhevin on state-owned ROSSIYA TV

Strategic security will undoubtedly be the main issue among those to be discussed at the G8 summit. Because on the one hand, Russia has been observing international agreements and getting rid of weapons over the last few years, while our partners have been building them up. And the US was also keen to station components of a missile defence system in the Czech Republic and Poland. If anyone reckoned that Moscow would like this imbalance, they were mistaken.

Presenter Aleksey Pushkov on Moscow's CENTRE TV

The approaches of Moscow and Washington to a range of issues are not simply different but diametrically opposed... The United States doesn't want to see that it is Washington's actions that are prompting the crisis... They will try to repair the broken partnership. However, it's not entirely clear whether the partnership can be repaired.

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Country profile: Russia
19 May 07 |  Country profiles

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