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Russian press cool on Medvedev win

Celebrations in Red Square
Supporters of Medvedev celebrate in Red Square.

Russian newspapers have reacted warily to Dmitry Medvedev's landslide victory in Sunday's presidential election.

Many point out that the result was no surprise, and dismissed the vote as a formality.

Others wonder how the new president will work with his predecessor, Vladimir Putin, whose support landed him the job and who has said he will serve as Mr Medvedev's prime minister.

PAVEL VOSHCHANOV IN NOVAYA GAZETA

Most people in Russia gave their votes to one candidate who well before 2 March had secured one vote in his favour that happened to be the weightiest [Putin's], a vote that not only determined everything but made everything meaningless... Never before have we had such an unimaginative political campaign, of which it can only be said that an election apparently took place in which we elected an apparent president.

DMITRIY KAMYSHEV IN KOMMERSANT

Doubtless, our spiteful critics in the West... are likely to deem the election of the president of the Russian Federation as not meeting universal democratic standards. But you and I know for sure that this election was no worse than any other election campaign, since it was in line with all truly Russian traditions.

OLGA PAVLIKOVA, MIKHAIL VINOGRADOV & IRINA KOMAROVA IN GAZETA

The third president is like a third marriage: feelings are not as strong. In 1991, Russia was electing its first president with passion and in 2000 its second president with hope; as for the third one, it voted for him rather indifferently.

YEKATERINA GRIGORYEVA AND ALEKSANDR LATYSHEV IN IZVESTIYA

It is already clear that Dmitry Medvedev received carte blanche to implement the programme for the development of Russia until 2020 that Putin announced at the State Council meeting [on 8 February 2008].

MIKHAIL ROSTOVSKY IN MOSKOVSKY KOMSOMOLETS

No-one yet understands how the Medvedev-Putin tandem is going to work. If it turns out that Putin remains the one in charge, one can simply throw yesterday's "historic achievement" in the bin... Today Medvedev and Putin have a historic chance. No matter how tiny it might be, to let it disappear would be a crime against the country.

NIKOLAY VARDUL IN GAZETA

Putin has reiterated, both verbally and in writing (in particular, in the Western press), that he will not take steps towards transferring powers from president to prime minister... the conclusion then is that Medvedev - perhaps not straight away - will become Russian politician number one not just in rank but in terms of the real balance of political forces.

RUSSIA'S NEZAVISIMAYA GAZETA

This campaign might turn out to be important post factum... For the first time in the whole post-Soviet period, the head of state does not face the task of ensuring the survival of the nation. Putin's successor can afford to concentrate on the country's strategic development, which, however, does not make his job easier.

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaux abroad.




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