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Posts Tagged ‘Medvedev’

Nuclear Summit: Barack Obama Tells Russia’s Dmitry Medvedev More Flexibility After Election

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 27, 2012

SEOUL, March 26 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama was caught on camera on Monday assuring outgoing Russian President Dmitry Medvedev he will have “more flexibility” to deal with contentious issues like missile defense after the U.S. presidential election.

Obama, during talks in Seoul, urged Moscow to give him “space” until after the November ballot, and Medvedev said he would relay the message to incoming Russian president Vladimir Putin.

The unusually frank exchange came as Obama and Medvedev huddled together on the eve of a global nuclear security summit in the South Korean capital, unaware their words were being picked up by microphones as reporters were led into the room.

U.S. plans for an anti-missile shield have bedeviled relations between Washington and Moscow despite Obama’s “reset” in ties between the two former Cold War foes. Obama’s Republican opponents have accused him of being too open to concessions to Russia on the issue. Read the rest of this entry »

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Russian spy agency: Global crisis demands new tactics

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 19, 2012

Tupolev Tu-95 in flight

Tupolev Tu-95 in flight

Russian military intelligence is adjusting its work methods in response to the worsening international situation, Igor Sergun, the head of GRU – the country’s largest espionage agency – has told President Dmitry Medvedev.

“Changes in the world situation have required adjustments to be made to intelligence mechanisms and their implementation,” Sergun said on Thursday, as he presented his report to the head of state.

Currently, the main focus of Russian military intelligence is on “the so-called hot spots where terrorist and extremist groups are acting, regions with crisis situations, and also the sources and possible routes of illegal proliferation of nuclear materials and the components of weapons of mass destruction,” he said.

Sergun underlined that the Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) is “practically the only special service in the world”which integrates all existing types and directions of intelligence into its structure.

GRU successfully fulfills its tasks thanks to the professionalism of secret service agents “combined with the usage of the most up-to-date achievements of information, telecommunication and space technologies and innovations,” explained Sergun. Read the rest of this entry »

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Russian-US relations: Looking ahead to 2012

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 30, 2011

US President Barack Obama shakes hands with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev during their bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Honolulu, Hawaii, on November 12, 2011 (AFP Photo / Jim Watson)

The year 2011 was a rocky one for Russian-US relations, in which the early hopes of a reset have been overshadowed by a series of setbacks. President Dmitry Medvedev is calling on his US counterpart to help make 2012 a better year.

Medvedev offered season’s greetings to US President Barack Obama for the Christmas and New Year holidays, the Kremlin press service reported on Friday.

“We have a rich agenda ahead of us, which we discussed in Deauville and Honolulu,” the President says in his address. “The main thing…is to build constructive and mutually respectful bilateral dialogue, intensify out joint efforts to strengthen the positive dynamics in Russian-US relations, give new impetuses to the intensification of trade and economic interaction, and the realization of modernization projects without looking back at the political situation.”

The relationship between Medvedev and Obama got off to a promising start last year when both presidents signed the New START nuclear arms reduction treaty in Prague. The treaty, which limits the number of deployed strategic nuclear warheads to 1,550 – a reduction of nearly two-thirds from the original START treaty – entered into force in February, 2011. The Russian-US honeymoon, however, was destined to be a brief one.

Even before signing New START, Medvedev let it be known that Russia reserved the right to abrogate the agreement if progress was not made on the controversial issue of US missile defense in Europe. Thus far, the United States refuses to cooperate on the long-term project with Russia, which has called the system sitting on its doorstep a potential threat to national security. Read the rest of this entry »

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Medvedev calls for major reform of Russia’s political system

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 22, 2011

President Dmitry Medvedev has said it is time for a comprehensive reform of Russia’s political system, which would give citizens an opportunity to be more involved in the political life of the country.

Making his final address to the Federal Assembly as president, Medvedev outlined the key components necessary for achieving political reform.

“We should give all active citizens a legal right to participate in the political life,” he stressed.

First, Medvedev said it is necessary to return to direct voting in electing heads of regions.

Second, simpler rules for the registration of political parties should be introduced.

The president went on to suggest that political parties could be officially registered on the basis of a petition of at least 500 people, which represent at least 50 per cent of the Russian regions.

Medvedev also proposed to set aside the rule that requires parliamentary candidates to collect signatures for their candidacy in order to be allowed to participate in the State Duma vote or elections to regional legislative councils. Presidential candidates, meanwhile, would be required to collect less signatures to run in elections.

Currently, independent candidates are required to submit two million signatures from across Russia. Medvedev said that number could be reduced to 300,000; as far as candidates nominated by parties that are not represented in the parliament, the number, he believes, could be reduced to 100,000. Read the rest of this entry »

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Medvedev on US: ‘If they continue to push us around, we’ll push back’

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 18, 2011

President Dmitry Medvedev has spoken out after a telephone conversation with his US counterpart, saying Obama’s comments on Russia’s recent parliamentary elections were “unacceptable”.

Speaking to a number of United Russia MPs, Dmitry Medvedev stated that, correctly delivered, thoughts and comments on a country’s electoral process are acceptable – and welcome. But when they are reminiscent of Cold War-era statements, it is outrageous. “That is not a reset [in relations], and I’ve had to remind my colleague of that”, said the president. Read the rest of this entry »

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Russia launches new missile defense to cover Atlantic

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 29, 2011

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has ordered operational the newest Russian radar system that protects from missile attacks and covers all Europe and Atlantic.

Medvedev personally arrived in Russia’s westernmost exclave of Kaliningrad and received a report from the Space Defense Troops commander that the radar station was fully ready for the launch. After this, the president gave the order to put the radar on combat duty.

At the ceremony Medvedev said that the radar launch was a sign to the Western partners that Russia was ready to promptly respond to threats that arise with the start of the European missile defense. “I expect that this step will be regarded by Western partners as the first signal of our country’s readiness to appropriately respond to the threats posed by the missile defense system to our strategic nuclear forces,” the Russian President said.

After the launch the president held a conference with top commanders of the Russian Military Forces. There he said that Russia was ready to listen to proposals on missile defense, but repeated that “verbal statements alone will not suffice.”

“If our signal is not heard, as I said on November 23 we will deploy other means of defense, including approving harsh counter-measures and the deployment of a strike group,” Medvedev said. “If other steps are taken, we are ready to listen to them, but in any case, verbal statements alone will not suffice,” the president said.  Read the rest of this entry »

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US AMD dilemma: Big dollar or world peace?

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 27, 2011

Russia’s President Medvedev sent a sharp warning this week to Western powers over the planned NATO missile shield in Europe. He said if the plans go ahead without guarantees of Russia’s safety, Moscow would deploy missiles of its own.

Years of negotiations over the proposed shield, which America wants to place in Turkey and in former Warsaw Pact countries on Russia’s western border, have been deadlocked over the US refusal to agree to Russian participation in the project.

America says the anti-missile shield is aimed at protecting Europe from so-called rogue states like North Korea and Iran, but Russia sees it as a threat to its own national security.

Russia says the US has still not given adequate assurances over who will be targeted, prompting stern words from President Dmitry Medvedev and a pledge that Moscow will deploy its own state-of-the-art missiles on Europe’s eastern flank.

“If other measures are insufficient, Russia will deploy contemporary strike systems in the west and south in order to prevent fire damage from US missile defenses deployed in Europe,” he declared. “The deployment of the Iskander missile system in the Kaliningrad region will be one such step.” Read the rest of this entry »

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CrossTalk: Putin the Powerful and Medvedev Interview

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 27, 2011

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Russia gets NATO ‘nyet’ on missile defense

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on October 25, 2011

This handout image courtesy of the US Missile Defense Agency shows a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) being launched at the Pacific Missile Range Facility off the island of Kauai in Hawaii (AFP Photo / HO /US Missile Defense Agency)

NATO officials say they are willing to “cooperate” with Russia in the US missile defense system, while balking on the possibility of building a single system.

Unfortunately, NATO on Tuesday once again refrained from putting its money where its mouth is, offering Moscow cheap words, as opposed to priceless action when it comes to a genuine partnership in the construction of a European missile defense system, which the US says is needed to protect Europe from a ‘rogue’ missile strike.

Russia was assured, once again, that the system was no cause for alarm.

The US missile defense shield slated for Europe “does not pose any threats to Russia’s defense capabilities,” James Appathurai, NATO’s Deputy Assistant Secretary General, told his Russian hosts at a press conference in Moscow.

“The shield lacks the technical capabilities to disrupt Russia’s potential to fend off a nuclear strike,” he said, while failing to mention the system’s potential for spatial and technological growth in the near future.

As for providing written “legal guarantees” that the system – situated just miles from the Russian border – would not be aimed at Russian territory, Appathurai balked, saying they were not needed.

The “ultimate guarantee”  for Russia is to connect its system to NATO’s, he said. When pushed for specifics, the NATO official only offered vague suggestions, like providing “data exchanges and coordination” between the two systems.

Needless to say, the proposal did not sit well with Russia’s Ambassador to NATO, Dmitry Rogozin.

“If Mr. Appathurai is really certain that technically the US missile defense cannot create impediments for Russian strategic nuclear forces, then what is the reason for the US refusal to put these guarantees on paper,” he asked.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Medvedev creates new body to fight extremism

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 29, 2011

The Russian president has formed an interdepartmental commission led by the interior minister, which will be

Last year, soccer fans, nationalists and natives of North Caucasus tried to organize several rallies in Moscow, but their attempts were suppressed by the police (RIA Novosti / Ilya Pitalev)

responsible for fighting extremism in Russia.

The commission will develop measures to prevent manifestations of extremism and remove those conditions which fuel it, the presidential press service reported on Friday. The body must monitor the situation, submit proposals to the president on the formation of the state’s policy in this area, and draft bills to amend the relevant legislation.

Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliev on Friday presided over the first meeting of the commission. He recalled the tragedy that recently occurred in Norway, when a man with an extremist agenda killed dozens of people. The events in that country “have once again shown how dangerous extremist views are today, how destructive they are,” Nurgaliev said.

One of the main goals of the commission is to coordinate the activities of federal bodies and regional authorities in fighting individuals and groups who incite xenophobia or are involved in extremist activities. As the Interior Ministry will organize the work of the new body, it will also include 16 heads of other ministries and agencies – from the Federal Security Service (FSB) to the Ministry of Culture.

The Russian authorities have stepped up the fight against extremism and xenophobia after riots on Moscow’s Manezhnaya Square in December of last year, when hundreds of soccer fans clashed with police. They were protesting the inaction of the police in the case of their fellow fan Yegor Sviridov, who was killed in a street brawl by natives from the North Caucasus.  While soccer fans, nationalists and natives of North Caucasus tried to organize several rallies in Moscow, but their attempts were suppressed by the police.   Read the rest of this entry »

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Putin reveals the main character in 2012 presidential elections

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on June 22, 2011

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, before responding to questions concerning presidential elections, said he supports

Vladimir Putin (AFP Photo / Martin Bureau)

President Medvedev’s economic initiative outlined at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

Putin, stressing the uniformity of their positions, said he particularly supported Medvedev’s rejection of state capitalism.

“This is certainly our common program, and there is no difference in positions,” he told a press conference in Paris on Tuesday. “President Medvedev was absolutely correct to focus the attention of the public and the business community on this (the need to reduce the state’s role in the economy.)”

In Medvedev’s far-sighted plan, he not only called for a major shake-up in the way business is done in Russia, but also for Moscow to become a major financial hub.

“Investors will seek ways to diversify their investments and whether they choose our country or not will largely depend on ourselves,” Medvedev explained. “Russia must offer new possibilities, from growing consumer demand to dozens of infrastructure projects, it must show new perspectives stemming from a common economic space with our neighbors.”

When asked whether it was possible that he could have made as “radical-liberal a speech” as Medvedev did, Putin did not miss a beat, explaining that Medvedev’s program is a reflection of “our common program.”

“If you look at what I said in the recent or even in a more distant past, several years ago, you will see that all these points were formulated, and this is our common program,” the Russian premiere explained.

When a French journalist asked Putin if is he was planning to run for presidency in the 2012 elections, the Russian Prime Minister drew laughter from the crowd.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Medvedev deserves Nobel Prize for Libya peace process – Tunisian FM

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on June 19, 2011

According to the Russian president’s special envoy in Africa, Mikhail Margelov, the idea of nominating Dmitry Medvedev for the Nobel Peace Prize for mediating in the Libyan conflict belongs to the Tunisian foreign minister, Muldi Kefi.

Margelov shared the news with Russian journalists during a media briefing in Moscow on Saturday. Margelov said that the Tunisian authorities are certain the Russian president justly deserves the reward “even today” and “to a greater extent surely than US president Barack Obama, who got his Nobel in advance,” less than a year after entering office.

Awarding the recently inaugurated American president Barack Obama the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009 sparked hot public debate worldwide, with the reasoning and phrasing of the award causing a great deal of headscratching.

Since February 2011, when the civil war started in Libya, Russia has consistently stuck to a neutral position. Then, once Moscow established contact with the rebels’ National Transitional Council in late May, Russia offered to become an intermediary power to settle the conflict in Libya.

Mikhail Margelov returned to Moscow on Saturday after his official visit to Libya where he held talks with both the pro- and anti-Gaddafi sides. In the course of negotiations, Margelov stressed that Moscow intends to send humanitarian aid to both sides.

He also said that both sides were willing to talk, but the Alliance should first stop its airstrikes:

“Tripoli is expecting to see an immediate ceasefire before a peace process can begin. It’s also refusing to discuss the departure of Colonel Gaddafi from the political scene. There is a dialogue going on between the warring sides, but for those talks to bring any results, Tripoli says its ceasefire must be put in place and international mediators in to keep regulating the process. One thing is clear: Russia is very welcome as a mediator, both in Tripoli and in Benghazi. We will keep working together.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Russian science lacks high-class personnel – Medvedev

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on May 23, 2011

President Dmitry Medvedev has voiced concern over the situation with higher education in Russia, which churns out two

President Dmitry Medvedev speaking at a meeting with scientists at his Gorky residence, May 23, 2001 (RIA Novosti / Dmitry Astakhov)

million university graduates a year, but very few of them are truly professional.

The issue was raised during Medvedev’s meeting with Russian and foreign scientists – the winners of the so-called “mega-grant” contest – at his Gorky residence on Monday. The aim of the gathering was to discuss problems that academics face in Russia and possible ways to tackle them.

The lack of highly-professional personnel, for instance, is one of the stumbling blocks in the development of science and, thus, in modernizing Russia’s economy. As was pointed out at the meeting, despite a large number of university graduates, it is still difficult to find 20 young professionals who would be skilled enough to work in laboratories in Skolkovo – the Russian tech hub located outside Moscow.

Medvedev said within next following years universities that provide a low level of education will be closed. He recalled that back in the ’80s, only 30 per cent of school graduates joined universities, whilst today almost all young people get a higher education.

“The problem is that far not all of the universities are of a high quality, and, frankly, some of them should be closed,”the president said, adding that he hopes that the situation will soon be resolved.

Medvedev also noted that it is pretty “scary” when you see a lawyer who got a degree at a technical university.

“It is scary to put yourself in the hands of a doctor who, for instance, studied law. The same thing with an advocate who got his education at a technical college, even if it was an excellent one,” he noted.

Such a mixture of “genres”, which has been widely practiced by Russian institutes in recent years, has only worsened the situation with professionals in the country. Read the rest of this entry »

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Russia accuses NATO of going beyond UN resolution on Libya

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 17, 2011

As the operation in Libya closes in on its first month, coalition members are swearing to push further until Colonel Gaddafi goes, despite the UN no-fly zone resolution only allowing NATO involvement to secure humanitarian protection.

The gamesmanship is making many countries increasingly uneasy. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev warned at the beginning of the week that Libya risks total collapse and reiterated Russia’s position that to restore order in the North African country, those parties involved need to be acting in strict accordance with the international resolutions. Read the rest of this entry »

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Medvedev’s re-election comments rattle Russia’s political markets

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 14, 2011

Adhering to his mantra of change, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said he will announce soon whether to seek re-election in

April 13, 2011. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, walking past the guards of honor at his welcome ceremony, Sanya Phoenix International Airport, Hainan Island. (RIA Novosti / Michael Klimentyev)

March 2012, thus sparking a pundit firestorm.

In an interview with China’s CCTV on the sidelines of a summit of the BRIC market nations, Medvedev discussed the political climate in his country, saying it was important to “create new forms of direct democracy.”

“My strategy is to modernize Russia’s economy and its political life,” Medvedev said, stressing that the process should not be undertaken in haphazard fashion. “We should not reject everything good, everything we have done, say, in the past two decades, and in the last decade in particular, but we should look ahead.”

“Is our political system ideal,” Medvedev asked rhetorically. “No, it is not. It is developing. We have the Constitution that generally reflects our current social structure. But, at the same time, we should modify our legislation, if necessary. We should create new forms of direct democracy in our country.”

Medvedev then forwarded a slightly different tact than his presidential predecessor, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, whose administration advanced Russia’s own unique brand of government known as “sovereign democracy”

[Vladislav Surkov, First Deputy Chief of Staff of the President of the Russian Federation, in a speech in February 2006, to the United Russia party, defined sovereign democracy as “a society’s political life where the political powers, their authorities and decisions are decided and controlled by a diverse Russian nation for the purpose of reaching material welfare, freedom and fairness by all citizens, social groups and nationalities, by the people that formed it”].

“We should be open to criticism,” Medvedev stressed. “It doesn’t mean that we should take up every recipe we are being offered, but we should nevertheless listen to them attentively and only after that draw our conclusions as to what is acceptable to us and what is not.” Read the rest of this entry »

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