“A European’s visit,” the state Rossiyskaya Gazeta headlined, adding that “not only German politicians and public, but all of Europe were waiting for this visit, ready to see a liberal in the new Russian president.”
Even though “from the first minutes it became obvious that the change in presidents did not reflect on Russia’s view of the modern world,” “the German public met Medvedev’s speech with long and respectful applause,” the daily added.
“The Germans applauded so much that it became clear – Dmitry Medvedev held his first official visit with great promise,” the Kommersant daily noted.
“Berlin gives up its prejudices,” the Nezavisimaya daily headlined, hinting at occasionally rocky relations between Moscow and Berlin, with former president Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel frequently at odds on issues such as Russia’s human rights record.
The daily even noted that Merkel “allowed herself a bit of coquetry – for a moment she frowned, as if sad at some bad news coming from Medvedev, and then again offered a dazzling smile” while “the Russian president radiated confidence and even too much firmness for a friendly visit.”
“Medvedev passed his test – neither liberal rights defenders, nor partisans of a firm stance toward the West can have any complaints,” the Izvestia daily wrote.
“On the whole, Germans could see that yes, Medvedev was a liberal who would, however, follow Putin’s course,” the daily quipped.
However, all newspapers stressed that the trip, though promising, was mostly for reconnaissance.
“The Berliners were not really in the mood for harsh criticism. Merkel said at the outset of the visit that ‘Mister president is yet new at his post’ – giving all to understand that the new leader is allowed a carte-blanche,” the Gazeta daily wrote.