WikiLeaks reveals “cynicism” of US diplomacy – Medvedev
The Russian president’s comment referred to cables recently revealed by WikiLeaks. Earlier this week, over 250,000 documents, including US diplomatic correspondence, were published on the whistle-blowing website.“We are not paranoid and we do not link, let’s say, Russian-American relations to any [data] leaks. However, those leaks demonstrate all the cynicism of assessments and opinions that prevail in the foreign policy of different states. In this case I mean the United States,” Medvedev said, speaking at a joint media conference with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in Sochi. The latest bunch of secret cables published by WikiLeaks has become perhaps the most embarrassing for the US State Department. According to the documents, comments they make in internal correspondence about many foreign leaders are not flattering, to say the least.For instance, according to cables, the US Embassy in Moscow said that Dmitry Medvedev “plays Robin” to his strongman Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s “Batman”. Speaking on Friday, Medvedev stated that he sees nothing critical about those comments. “Assessments can be different,” he added. “I believe that – God forbid! – if judgments made by Russian Foreign Ministry or special services about, for example, our American colleagues,leaked to the media, they would be really “delighted”as well,” Medvedev said.“But do we really need that?” he questioned. The president went on to say that he believes that diplomacy, as well as banking, should be based on appropriate principles.The scandalous cables were not the core of the media conference that followed the Russian-Italian consultations in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi – the host of Winter Olympics 2014. Moscow and Rome have long enjoyed rather warm relations and there are quite a few areas the two countries already co-operate in, or would like to. Modernizing the country’s economy has become one of the top priorities for Russia, and a hallmark of Medvedev’s presidency. To make that dream a reality, Moscow is seeking help from European partners and welcomes foreign investments. Italy is already a long-time Russian partner in the energy sector. Now Moscow wants to expand co-operation to hi-tech and modernization. Speaking after the talks, Medvedev admitted that currently co-operation in energy cannot be compared to that in modern technology, but vowed to do everything possible to achieve a balance.Apart from business matters, the two leaders also touched upon the visa-free regime between Russia and the EU and, of course, football. On Thursday, Russian football fans were buoyed by the news of the country winning the bid to host the 2018 World Cup. England, Portugal and Spain, and Belgium and the Netherlands were left behind. President Medvedev stated that the country will do its best to hold the biggest football event of the highest possible caliber. Government, regional authorities, and business –everyone will contribute to that goal. Yet again, he used the opportunity to remind of the necessity to get rid of visas between Russia and the European Union. “We would like a special atmosphere to be created during the championship,” he told the media conference. “Therefore I believe that in this situation we should make a significant progress on visa issue,” Medvedev said adding that the best scenario would be introducing the visa-free regime by the time of the World Cup. In any case, Medvedev promised, visas will not be a problem for thousands of football fans who would like to watch the spectacular event with their own eyes. “Tickets and visas will mean the same thing,” he stated. Berlusconi, for his part, congratulated Russia on winning the bid. He reiterated Italy’s support to the idea of visa-free travel and also expressed hope that the issue will finally be settled by the 2018. Medvedev – a big football fan – noted that if Russian and Italian teams were to meet in the championship final, it would be a big win for Russia, no matter what the result of the game was.The president confessed that when Russian team is not “brilliant” (which unfortunately is quite often the case) he supports European teams. “And often it is the Italian team,” he added.