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Posts Tagged ‘Kremlin’

Russians protest Kremlin time zone plan

In Uncategorized on December 18, 2010 at 10:27 am

Several dozen people on the Russian Pacific coast on Saturday rallied against a Kremlin plan to cut the number of time zones to further the sprawling country’s economic integration.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev delivers a speech as he presents the Federal Security Service flag in Moscow on December 17, 2010.

President Dmitry Medvedev surprised the country last year when during his state-of the-nation address he suggested cutting the number of time zones in order to improve coordination across Russia.

At the time of his announcement, the country spanned 11 time zones from Kaliningrad on the Baltic Sea to Chukotka on the Bering Sea and earlier this year the number of time zones fell to nine.

Under the Kremlin plan, the country’s Primorye region on the Pacific is to go from being seven hours ahead of Moscow to six next year after Medvedev’s initiative was rubber-stamped by a local legislature.

Most local residents are however unhappy about the move which would mean reduced hours of daylight in the evening and several dozen campaigners including from opposition parties gathered in central Vladivostok to protest against the plan.

Some of the slogans spotted at the rally read “We are not vampires. We do not want to live at night” and “The president’s message: outrun and outdo time.”

In nearby Sakhalin region, which is also seven hours ahead of Moscow, campaigners have already collected several thousand signatures against the Kremlin initiative.

Medvedev has said eliminating time zones could help the residents of some remote Russian regions but critics have derided his idea as silly and proof that he is a weak leader incapable of implementing substantive reforms.

Russia was divided into 11 time zones in 1919. The Soviet Union introduced daylight saving in 1981 and it has continued ever since.

The elimination of the time zone will be accomplished by having residents not set their clocks forward when Russia switches to daylight savings time in March.

Galina Medvedeva, a deputy representing the Communist party in the local legislature, said at the protest the plan did not take people’s opinion into account.

“If they cancel switching from summer to winter time then it will be getting dark in our region virtually in the middle of the day,” she added.

The remote region bordering China has tight economic ties with Asia and its residents often scoff at the Kremlin’s initiatives, their independent streak sometimes manifesting itself in mass rallies unseen in central Russia.

In 2008, authorities had to dispatch riot police all the way from Moscow to break up a protest against higher tariffs on used imported cars.

Source: SGGP

Medvedev to visit US, sign trade deals: Kremlin aide

In Uncategorized on June 9, 2010 at 12:08 pm

 President Dmitry Medvedev plans a visit to the United States to sign trade deals and possibly tour Silicon Valley in his drive to diversify Russia’s hydrocarbon-dependent economy, a top aide said Tuesday.

“This visit will have an innovative character and will be aimed at intensifying trade and economic cooperation between Russia and the United States, first and foremost in hi-tech areas,” Sergei Prikhodko, Medvedev’s seniormost foreign policy aide, told reporters.

President Dmitry Medvedev, pictured on June 5, plans a visit to the United States to sign trade deals and possibly tour Silicon Valley in his drive to diversify Russia’s hydrocarbon-dependent economy, a top aide said Tuesday.

The Kremlin aide declined to give the date of the visit or details of the contracts to be signed, saying only it will be a “solid set of documents” on economics, including high-tech and science, and several trade contracts.

His US tour may include a trip to Silicon Valley, Prikhodko said.

Medvedev is expected to travel to North America in late June when he’s set to take part in the Group of Eight and Group of 20 summits in Canada.

Medvedev is seeking to modernise the Russian economy and one of his most recent initiatives includes building a high-tech hub near Moscow.

Dubbed the Russian Silicon Valley, the project aims to entice leading Russian and foreign scientists to focus their energies on nuclear and bio-medical technologies, energy and telecommunications.

A large Russian business delegation will accompany Medvedev on the trip, which is expected to kick off several large projects, Prikhodko said, without elaborating.

“There are a lot of interesting ideas and proposals,” he added.

Russian-US ties are enjoying a renaissance after Medvedev and his US counterpart Barack Obama signed the long-awaited landmark Cold War-era nuclear disarmament treaty in Prague in April.

“There will certainly be talks on issues of strategic stability,” Prikhodko added, noting that the two nations had demonstrated political will by signing the new START arms control treaty.

“We are ready to continue these efforts,” he added.

Source: SGGP

Medvedev leaves by air for Kaczynski funeral: Kremlin

In Uncategorized on April 18, 2010 at 7:27 pm

MOSCOW, April 18, 2010 (AFP) – President Dmitry Medvedev on Sunday left Moscow for Krakow by air to attend the funeral of Polish counterpart Lech Kaczynski, the Kremlin said, despite the Iceland volcano travel disruptions.

All Russian news agencies quoted Kremlin spokeswoman Natalya Timakova as confirming Medvedev’s departure. No further details were given and Kremlin officials could not be immediately reached for further comment.

Several world leaders, including US President Barack Obama, have already cancelled their attendance at the funeral in Krakow of Kaczynski, who was killed in a plane crash in Russia on April 10.

Source: SGGP