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23 Jan, 2008 00:27

Medvedev: do not fear Russia, let us grow

First Deputy PM, Dmitry Medvedev, says Russia poses no threat to other nations. In his first speech since becoming a presidential candidate, he said Russia was committed to finding more allies around the world, but must be allowed to develop democracy in

Speaking at the National Civic Forum, the First Deputy Prime Minister said that several decades of stability would enable Russia to develop a responsible, law-abiding society. He said such a society will benefit from its economical potential while sticking to political and civil freedoms.

Every nation needs a clear set of principles and goals which unite its people. These goals are based on the real needs of society. These are our principles as I see them: first of all, freedom and justice, next, human dignity, thirdly, prosperity and social responsibility. We don’t need to invent anything. Humanity has worded the basic values a long time ago. But we sometimes have problems about implementing them in Russia. Our goal is to combine Russian national traditions and the fundamental democratic values.

Dmitry Medvedev

The presidential hopeful believes Russia has an opportunity to enjoy years of economical stability and prosperity, something the country was denied in the 20th century.

People power

The key to this, according the Deputy First Prime Minister, is Russia’s people. They have to learn how to live in a democratic country, to have social responsibility, to respect the law, and to protect their political and civic freedoms. Only this new generation of citizens can prosper in a modern world.

Feel no fear

Medvedev said the outside world's concerns about Russia were due to her controversial past and a fear that Russia could change course unexpectedly. In a speech aimed at reassuring the West, Medvedev said he saw only one future for Russia – as a free country among other democratic nations.

Meanwhile, Boris Makarenko from the Centre for Political Technologies says the style of Medvedev's campaign will show, whether he might bring policy changes.

“One thing which will serve for me as a helpful tip is how his [Dmitry Medvedev’s] campaign goes. Mr Putin’s parliamentary campaign was quite confrontational. I don’t see any reason for Mr Medvedev’s campaign to be polarising or antagonistic to anyone. It can be predominantly positive,” Makarenko said.