“Russia should not pose as superior to other nations”

Prioritizing the economy, modernizing the industrial sector, and cooperative foreign policy with international partners were the key issues pointed out by three Russian analysts in response to the presidential address.

“I believe what President Medvedev meant was that Russia should not feel itself as superior towards its partners. Russia should be attentive to the experiences abroad. Russia should seek for solutions, for technologies, for relations to promote its own development,” told RT Konstantin Kosachev, who heads Russian Parliament’s Commission for Foreign Relations.

The Russian president addressed the nation in a televised speech on Thursday.

Kosachev believes that a very important part of Medvedev’s message is the call not to put the blame for all problems in Russia on some foreign hostile forces.

“We need to work better, to be more efficient in our economic policy, in our social policy, in order to be competitive and to be able to protect our national interests abroad,” he said.

In his address Dmitry Medvedev sent out a strong message to the country's diplomats, saying they should prioritize the economy. Political analyst Dmitry Polikanov believes the shift has been anticipated for quite some time.

“I assume that this is kind of a long tradition of the Russian diplomatic service to focus more on political issues,” says the analyst from the Russian Center for Policy Studies. He stated that in order to ensure modernization and development of the Russian economy and businesses that the president spoke about “the diplomatic services should also focus more on lobbyism and promotion of economic interest and on protection of national interest of business abroad.”

Polikanov also underlined that this issue was already quite topical several years ago, and was mentioned several times by then-president Vladimir Putin.

“It is quite clear that the system should be reformed and that the Russian foreign service should be more economically-minded, not only politically-minded,” the analyst noted.

Speaking on the comprehensive modernization of Russia, independent political analyst Aleksandr Fomenko called industrial recreation and measures to increase the demand for the products of Russian industry the main economic priority for the country.

“I hope we will start recreating the industrial infrastructure of the country, which we lost during the past years, and create a transport infrastructure… These are two things our country really needs.”

In his address Dmitry Medvedev also promised to support NGOs, which Fomenko agrees with, noting that non-commercial organizations are in need of help from the state. In order for them to work efficiently, a legal base should be developed first, so that NGOs can supply crucial social aid to the people of the country.

Speaking about foreign policy, Aleksandr Fomenko said that not much is going to change, as the president only confirmed the state’s pragmatic policy that was set in motion 10 or 15 years ago. “We really became very pragmatic in our foreign policy since Vladimir Putin’s presidency, or even earlier.”