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27 Feb, 2008 14:24

Medvedev campaigns hard ahead of election

As Russia's Presidential candidates prepare for Sunday's showdown, one of the hopefuls, First Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has gone to the city of Nizhny Novgorod to meet voters.

He took a day off work to visit Nizhny Novgorod. His campaign differs from those of the other candidates as he is still meeting with the voters while the election date is March 2.

Dmitry Medvedev met with ordinary citizens as well as with NGO and representatives of other organisations.

He answered many questions, mainly about domestic issues like pensions, housing and healthcare. Also, a lot of people asked about difficulties in starting a small business in Russia.  

Dmitry Medvedev once again named corruption and a lack of knowledge about the legal system as problems he would have to deal if he becomes president. 

“It is very important that respect for the law begins with each and every one of us. If we are able to break the law in an ordinary every day situation such as buying an illegal copy of a disc then this means we could commit other violations too,” he said.

He also added that if he wins he “will continue the course of president Putin, which has proved its effectiveness over the last eight years”.

Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence was also mentioned. Dmitry Medvedev criticised the move, suggesting that it would lead to more tensions in the Balkan region. “Such decisions which are inspired from overseas put Europe in a difficult position,” he said. 

This week Medvedev met the Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica for talks on the South Stream gas pipeline project. Medvedev also assured Serbia that Russia will continue with it and condemned Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence.

Dmitry Medvedev is seen as a liberal candidate, supporting the policies of the current President Vladimir Putin. He is also the Chairman of the Russian gas giant Gazprom.

In 2003 Medvedev became head of the Russian President's Administration and later – in 2005 – was appointed First Deputy Prime Minister. He is entrusted with Russia's national priority projects in housing, agriculture, education and health.