Putin spokesman plays down Western fears of strife

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (AFP Photo / Alexsey Druginyn)
Those who suggest that Russia’s relations with the West would deteriorate should Putin become president again do not understand anything in Russia, Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said.

­“It is not correct to say that hypothetically the relations with the West would become worse under President Putin,” Peskov told reporters.  

The Russian official added that many Western mass media rushed to make a prognosis that the relations between Russia and the West would worsen if Putin wins the 2012 presidential elections, and so would Russia’s internal economic situation. “Various forecasts that Russia’s position on the external or internal arena would deteriorate when the president and prime minister change testify only to the fact that these analysts understand absolutely nothing about what is happening in Russia,” Peskov said.

The official added that the capital flow in Russia is constant because the country is a part of the international economy. “Capital can only live in countries where it is free, where it can freely enter the country or exit it. Thus, I would not dramatize this,” Peskov said.

The first deputy head of the presidential administration, Vladislav Surkov, told a Moscow media forum that it was not right to change the political system in the country.

“We foresee no radical steps, to say nothing about the transfer to the parliamentary republic. Both Putin and Medvedev have repeatedly stated this,” Surkov said at the media event held within the framework of the electoral convention of the United Russia party. At the same time the official noted that some circles would always discuss such questions and this was normal.

Surkov refused to give a detailed forecast about the political situation in Russia after the elections, saying only that United Russia would win anyway, as this was the forecast voiced by Putin and Medvedev at the Saturday session of United Russia congress. Both President Medvedev and Prime Minister Putin have repeatedly stated that a parliamentary republic is an unacceptable form of political system for Russia.

Surkov also noted that political competition in Russia is increasing, largely due to United Russia’s initiatives and activities. He said that Russian parliament though dominated by United Russia had adopted a set of draft laws that made United Russia’s position less stable.

“I think this set of bills is sufficient to try it in practice for the next several years. It is not right to make changes to fundamental laws dealing with the political system. This is equally dangerous here and, in my view, in the tax sphere. There should be some elements of long-term structures, some long-term working schemes,”
Surkov told the reporters.

On Saturday United Russia leader Vladimir Putin suggested that the party put Dmitry Medvedev on top of its list in the forthcoming parliamentary elections. Medvedev agreed to the move and said that in case of victory he would chair the Russian government and in turn suggested that the United Russia support Putin’s candidacy at the 2012 presidential elections.

The congress almost unanimously supported the initiative.

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