Press Digest: Russia looking to mend fences with Europe and U.S.

Russian President Vladimir Putin participates at a session of the G-20 summit, in Antalya, Turkey, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015.

Russian President Vladimir Putin participates at a session of the G-20 summit, in Antalya, Turkey, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015.

RBTH presents a selection of views from leading Russian media on international events, featuring reports on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s comments following the G20 summit in Turkey, the refusal of insurance companies to pay out to Russian tourists who have cancelled trips to Paris, and new security recommendations for Russian airlines, as well as news that Moscow has agreed to restructure Ukrainian debt.

Kremlin seeking to repair relations with the West

The RBK daily reports that, judging by the statements of Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit in Turkey on Nov. 15-16, Russia is seeking to repair relations with Europe and the United States, while the West has given a signal of its "readiness to become closer with Moscow in the face of a common threat."

Putin recalled last year's summit in Australia, in which he made a well-publicized early departure amid tensions over Ukraine. The Russian leader said he did this for technical reasons; he did not want to wait three hours in line to take off, as was required by protocol.

"But, of course, relations were tenser than they are today. Life goes forward, there are new challenges," the newspaper quotes Putin as saying at the press conference in Turkey.

The fight against terrorism was one of the key topics at the summit, according to Putin. Now is not the time to say who was effective and who was ineffective in the fight, and no time to analyze why the previous steps were better or worse, he said.

There is also no need to "put forward questions, which are in fact secondary," he said, speaking of France. This country had previously insisted, in the first place, on the resignation of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad and this had not saved it from terrorist attacks, he said, adding that all countries should unite in the fight against terrorism; it is necessary to create a single anti-terrorist coalition, among other things.

No insurance for Russian tourists who pre-booked trips to Paris

The tabloid daily Moskovsky Komsomolets reports a largely unexpected reaction by insurance companies, which are refusing to pay out to Russian tourists who have canceled pre-booked trips to Paris.

"We do not insure from terrorist attacks," was the position taken by insurers concerning tourists who decided to cancel their organized trips to Paris after a series of terrorist attacks that shook the French capital on Nov. 13.

Yulia Alcheyeva, chairwoman of the All-Russian Insurance Association's Committee for Insurance in Tourism, explained that a terrorist attack does not apply to insurance claims, along with a nuclear explosion or a civil war. It turns out that tourists have nothing to present to either insurance companies or tour operators, except their fear and negative emotions.

Could common threat of terrorism unite Russia with West?

"Will the threat of terror lead to a serious rapprochement of Russia and the West?” the business daily Vedomosti asks in its editorial column, concluding that even if does not, then at least it will make the parties coordinate their actions in the fight against terrorism.

For Russia, strengthening the fight against terrorism is a way to return to the club of world powers via Syria. During World War II, the Nazi threat forced the Soviet Union and the West to close their eyes to the ideological contradictions between them. Will ISIS become a new Hitler, for the sake of whom the West will be ready to change its uncompromising position on Ukraine and sanctions in order to confront it?

Airport inspections

The business daily Kommersant reports, that Russia’s federal air transport agency Rosaviatsiya has recommended that Russian airlines should provide information about the level of aviation security at airports in Turkey, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and European countries.

On Nov. 4, the agency requested airlines to check Egyptian airports, and two days later air traffic with the country was suspended. Meanwhile, the relevant departments are discussing the strategic task of domestic tourism development, in particular in the North Caucasus.

Russia agrees to restructure Ukrainian debt

Vedomosti also reports that due to the restructuring of Ukraine’s debt, "Kiev will be able to return to the debt market more quickly, and Russia – to receive additional revenue."

Formally, Russia could have already defaulted on the bonds of $3 billion, according to the conditions of release; the cause could have been Ukraine's moratorium on payments on any Eurobonds.

If Kiev had not paid the debt by the end of the year, it could have also lost assistance from the International Monetary Fund, as follows from the memorandum for the proposal to restructure the country's foreign debt.

All rights reserved by Rossiyskaya Gazeta.

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