[The Telegraph, U.K.]



Nezavisimaya Gazeta, Russia

Medvedev 'Confesses' His Plans Differ from Putin's


"In the 1990s, we were still internalizing the fact that we had become a new state - we were simply surviving. This cannot be our goal. Our goal is modernizing an economy that has had to absorb the problems and difficulties of the Soviet system. … As for my plans ... I'm not indifferent to my fate."


-- Russian President Dmitry Medvedev


Translated By Yekaterina Blinova


September 16, 2009


Russia - Nezavisimaya Gazeta - Original Article (Russian)

Russian President Medvedev has acknowledged recieving a letter from President Obama last March, but said there was no offer of a 'quid pro quo' on the U.S. missile shield and on how to deal with Iran's nuclear program.


BBC NEWS VIDEO: Russia's Ambassador to NATO, Dimitri Rogozin, applauds U.S. decision to drop plans for anti-missile shield in Europe, Sept. 18, 00:04:00RealVideo

On the eve of his first visit to the United States, scheduled for the middle of next week, President Dmitry Medvedev met with members of the Valdai Discussion Club [the club consists of RIA Novosti, the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, the magazines Russia Profile, Russia in Global Affairs and the newspaper, The Moscow News], Western political scientists and journalists asked whether in his recent article and speech at the Yaroslavl conference [Sept. 14], the Russian leader was putting forth the central theses of the “Medvedev Plan,” which would replace the “Putin Plan.” Medvedev was constrained to confess that they weren't mistaken.


Foreign political scientists and journalists were invited for a reception at the former State Department Store [GUM]. The menu was replete with exotic dishes. The guests had a choice of lobster salad, tomatoes and asparagus, mozzarella, lamb in cherry sauce, Parma ham with mango and smoked duck, steamed vegetables and mint cake with strawberry and cranberry sauce for dessert. While waiting for the president, club members sat around a huge square table covered with white tablecloths and eagerly discussed yesterday’s speech by the Russian leader.


As soon as the door through which the president was to enter opened, members of the Valdai Club jumped noisily from their seats. The Russian leader had decided to shake hands with each of the meeting’s 45 participants. Opening the meeting, Medvedev warned - there was to be no introduction - first of all, because he put much of it in his article about his agenda, and secondly, in his speech at the International Political Forum in Yaroslavl.


“I'm ready to communicate” said the president, visually signaling his guests. The first question was asked by Canadian political science professor [Carleton University], Pyotr Dudkevich. He asked Medvedev whether he considered his speech at Yaroslavl to be a declaration of his presidential program: “A few years ago, we tried to understand what the “Putin plan” was. And in Yaroslavl, you expressed the Medvedev strategy. What is the purpose of this strategy?”


“Every leader must have a plan of action. If we're talking about my plan, that hasn't just begun to emerge now, but during my election campaign. But to be honest: what I expressed in Yaroslavl is, of course, part of that plan.” Medvedev preserved the intrigue.


Answering a question from Angela Sten, the director of research at the Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies at the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University on the need to modernize Russia, Medvedev criticized the raw material-oriented structure of Russia's economy.


“In the 1990s, we were still engaged in internalizing the fact that we had become a new state - we were simply surviving. The current decade has been spent creating a stable government. But this result cannot be our goal. Our goal is development through the modernization of an economy that is not satisfactory to us - either political or socially, which has had to absorb the problems and difficulties of the Soviet system,” the president sighed. And then he explained the importance of pension and healthcare reform. “We must do this sincerely and there must be no imitation. This is the time for decisive steps, but they must be taken carefully,” Medvedev noted.



The dean of SIAS International University [the first solely American-owned University in Central China] Shawn Chen wondered whether Medvedev was satisfied with the existing venues for international communication, such as the G8, the G20, or the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. The Russian leader expressed the view that all these venues have a right to exist, but that today's global problems are so serious that it would be impossible for just eight nations to solve them. Therefore the future demands a broader format, such as the "Twenty." But even here there are difficulties. The leaders of the G20 countries have so far been in no particular rush to adopt concrete decisions and reform international financial institutions, all the while being aware that crisis could strike again with renewed force two or three years from now.



“Yesterday I spoke at the Yaroslavl conference and said that we must pay attention to the state of affairs in other nations. We shouldn't interfere, but it is of no small consequence to us how the economy looks in other countries. Fifty years ago it was different. The Soviet Union existed autonomously. But now we live in a different world. We care about the economies of other countries. And they aren't indifferent to what we do. Russia may be a developing economy, but it's a rather major player,” said Medvedev, articulating his views.


A German political scientist Alexander Rahr told Nezavisimaya Gazeta what he thought Medvedev meant when he spoke of the general criteria for monitoring. “Perhaps it's advantageous to him the more strongly the West criticizes Putin’s Russia. Because now he has to deal with the legacy of Putin’s policies. Note that Medvedev’s article and Yaroslavl speech were very warmly received in the West. This is what's happening now: The Western press is in my opinion, artificially pitting Medvedev against Putin. Its sympathies are, of course, with Medvedev. After Medvedev’s article, Western media wrote that he's a breakthrough president. Perhaps Medvedev is trying to form his circle of supporters in the West, a powerful wall of support,” suggested Rahr.


Political analyst Nikolai Zlobin is concerned that although the West received Medvedev’s declarations warmly, his agenda may be the only notable event of his presidency if there's no practical implementation of his stated ideas. And then Putin’s vision on how to further develop the Russian economy and government would triumph.    



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President of the EastWest Institute, John Edwin Mroz, in his conversation with a correspondent of Nezavisimaya Gazeta, noted that Medvedev should probably be characterized as one of a new generation of global leader. In this way Mroz says, he's not unlike Obama.


“They have a similar vision for future development. And yesterday in his Yaroslavl speech, President Medvedev said that we all have to change. Obama said the same thing in New York: “Both of us must change our perceptions of one another. Not only Russia - both of our governments must do so. [translated quote].”


At least one Valdai Club member is convinced: President Medvedev’s first visit to the United States, which is expected next week, will be a wonderful opportunity for Americans to understand who the Russian leader really is: “And, of course, it makes sense to talk not so much about politics, but of the economy. Both countries are experiencing difficulties. In a world of tremendous economic problems, the leaders must agree on how to solve them.”


During the closed part of the meeting, the analysts interrogated Medvedev about his plans for 2012. Nikolai Zlobin repeated the question he asked Putin on Friday: Will the prime minister and president compete in the 2012 elections? The president’s answer somewhat differed from that of the prime minister.


“Not long ago, I wasn't even planning to run for the presidency, but fate so ordered that I do, so for myself I don't promise or rule out anything. … On this subject I can say as a more or less thorough man, I try to follow my plans to the end,” the president added. “Vladimir Putin's answer to this question is obviously well reasoned” said Medvedev. At the same time, he expressed surprise that after Putin's statement, “strange comments began to appear about how Vladimir Putin is supposedly dividing the electorate and making decisions about how the Russian people should vote." Medvedev went on, "but he meant something quite different: there is a certain set of people, and it so happens that the two of us really do, for now - if nothing happens - have quite good poll ratings.”


[Editor's Note: Putin's comment to Valdai Club members was: "Did Dmitri Anatolievich and I oppose each other in 2008? No, we didn’t. Nor will we oppose each other next time. … In 2012, we will think together and will take into account the realities of the time, our personal plans, the political landscape and the United Russia Party and we'll take a decision … Medvedev and I are people of the same blood. We will sit down and reach agreement depending on the particular situation. We will decide between ourselves."]


Medvedev said that Putin has, “the highest rating, he's a popular man. So far, mine aren't too bad either, and we need to think about this (nominations for the presidency). If we don't have such opportunities, then other people will have them. … This doesn’t mean that we're pre-determining anything. But as responsible people, we must coordinate with one another and decide on certain questions. As for my plans, I will articulate them, have no doubt about that. I'm not indifferent to my fate,” Medvedev said.










































[Posted by WORLDMEETS.US September 19, 1:14pm]


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