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The Independent Online
JOHN MAJOR is still compared with his predecessor. Margaret Thatcher would have done the same (visited Russia), only perhaps a bit earlier. While Moscow no longer needs intermediaries, Great Britain is worried about its place on the political map. Though a member of the West's orchestra, Great Britain tries to play solo . . .

A winter walk in Russia will hardly help Major raise his ratings in Great Britain after all the sex and corruption scandals in his party. The British people do not care about Yegor Gaidar and (Boris) Fyodorov, liberal economists who recently resigned).

Komsomolskaya Pravda, former Party youth paper

IT WAS a very mysterious summit: no protocol exchange of speeches, no press conference, no planned stroll through the Kremlin . . . The attitude of the West towards Russia has cooled. It is now fashionable in Western capitals to suspect Moscow of a so-called neo-colonial mood towards the Commonwealth of Independent States. Moscow answers sharply, saying the West cannot lay down the law for us . . . Perhaps under the circumstances Mr Major had to play the role of truce envoy.

Sevodnya, liberal daily

THERE were times when foreign partners used to come on visits to raise their ratings at home, to distract the public's attention from internal problems. The British Prime Minister certainly has a lot of problems: economic, political, moral.

Izvestiya, quality daily

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