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Posts Tagged ‘Medvedev’

Russia’s Medvedev to meet Japan’s PM: spokeswoman

In Uncategorized on November 12, 2010 at 5:23 am

Tokyo summons Russia envoy over Medvedev Kurils visit: Jiji

In Uncategorized on November 1, 2010 at 5:41 am

Medvedev in first visit to Abkhazia since Georgia war

In Uncategorized on August 8, 2010 at 11:21 am

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Sunday made an unannounced visit to Abkhazia, his first trip to the breakaway Georgian region since Tbilisi’s war with the region two years ago.

Medvedev held talks with Abkhazia’s rebel leader Sergei Bagapsh and toured the sea embankment of its main city Sukhumi on the two year anniversary of the conflict with Georgia, an AFP correspondent reported.

In the wake of the August 2008 war, Moscow recognised Abkhazia and fellow rebel region South Ossetia as independent states — a move so far followed by only a handful of countries and condemned by the West.

“It was not a simple decision,” Medvedev said. “But time has shown that it was the right decision. The existence of the peoples of South Ossetia and Abkhazia was under threat.”

“If that decision had not been taken, the situation now would be completely different,” he added.

The August 2008 war saw Russian forces pour into the two breakaway regions of Georgia after Georgia attacked  South Ossetia, and later Abkhazia, prompting the worst post-Cold War crisis between Russia and the West.

Russian official news agencies confirmed that the visit was the first by a Russian president since Moscow recognised Abkhazia’s independence.

Georgia, which along with most of the international community insists the region is an integral part of its territory, reacted with exasperation to the visit.

Abkhaz separatists waged a civil war with Georgia in the 1990s after the break-up of the Soviet Union that killed several thousand people and left 250,000 people, mostly ethnic Georgians, as refugees.

Since Moscow’s declaration of its independence, Abkhazia has been boosted by significant Russian aid and visits by large numbers of Russian tourists. But its economy remains stricken by the lack of international recognition.

The two breakaway regions say that they have the right to announce their state independence because the International Justice Court has just affirmed the independence annoucement of the Serbia’s breakaway region of Kosovo is lawful. 

Source: SGGP

Medvedev donates over $10,000 to victims of wildfires

In Uncategorized on August 8, 2010 at 11:20 am

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has personally donated 350,000 rubles (some $12,000) to the victims of wildfires raging across the central part of European Russia, RIA-Novosti quoted his spokesperson as saying on Saturday.

The Russian cabinet hold a meeting for resolution of wildfires in central Russia in Moscow on August 8, 2010. (Photo: RIA-Novosti

Over 50 people have so far been killed in the blazes, which have also left more than 3,500 people homeless. Forest and peat bog fires, sparked by an unprecedented heat wave, are currently burning in 22 Russian regions.

“It is expected that the president’s example will be followed by other high-ranking officials,” Natalya Timakova said.

She also said that Medvedev hoped ordinary people would also contribute to the fund to help those who have suffered in the disaster.

Medvedev earned 3,335,281 rubles (around $115,000) in 2009. He also has 12 bank accounts with a net balance of 3,574,747.34 rubles ($123,000).


Source: SGGP

Medvedev eyes German help to modernise Russia economy

In Uncategorized on July 15, 2010 at 12:57 pm

 President Dmitry Medvedev Thursday called on German firms to help Russia modernise its economy as he met Chancellor Angela Merkel to further cement the Moscow-Berlin partnership.

“I very much expect that German firms, which have huge experience in this area, will take part in this work,” Medvedev told business leaders after talks with Merkel in the Russian Urals city of Yekaterinburg.

“Taking into account the strategic partnership in the economic sphere I believe the prospects here are not too bad,” Medvedev said, during what is his fifth meeting with Merkel this year.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (R) speaks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Yekaterinburg.

Germany is Russia’s main economic partner and enjoys close diplomatic relations with Moscow.

Medvedev also invited German business people to invest in companies that had until recently been off limits to foreigners.

“I expect that German companies will take part in the modernization of companies they are interested in, also taking into account my decision to reduce the number of strategic enterprises,” Medvedev said.

Last month, Medvedev announced he was cutting fivefold the number of firms deemed “strategic” and in which the state is obliged to own a stake, opening the way for broader participation of foreign companies in the economy.

Medvedev also said the Russian government had earmarked 170 billion rubles (5.5 billion dollars) for the establishment of the Skolkovo high-tech hub outside Moscow — Russia’s answer to Silicon Valley.

Germany’s Siemens was to sign an agreement later Thursday to help Russia develop the Skolkovo technology hub, a Moscow-based company spokesman said this week.

Siemens will also sign a contract with Russian Railways and another deal with state conglomerate Russian Technologies and RusHydro utility company.

German government sources said the deal with Russian Railways was to be a 2.2-billion-euro (2.8-billion-dollar) order to supply the Russian company with more than 200 trains for its regional network.

During the summit Medvedev and Merkel would discuss the setting up of “strategic alliances” between Russian and German companies in railway, aviation and energy industries, the Kremlin said ahead of the bilateral summit.

Medvedev this week told Russian diplomats that one of their top tasks was to help businesses forge economic alliances with the West and Germany in particular as the Kremlin seeks to wean the country off oil and gas exports as its main economic motor.

Merkel for her part expressed hope that Russia will join the World Trade Organization in the near future and that its fledgling customs union with neighbours Kazakhstan and Belarus would not hinder its WTO talks.

Russia, which opened negotiations to join the WTO in 1993, is the largest economy that is still outside the Geneva-based body.

Russian officials have repeatedly expressed frustration with the process for accession to the WTO and floated a plan to enter the global trade body as part of a customs bloc with Belarus and Kazakhstan that was formally launched earlier this month.

Medvedev assured Merkel that the customs bloc would not stand in the way of the WTO talks, noting progress in Russia’s negotiations with the United States.

“I hope that the most significant progress in this respect will be made this year,” he added.

Merkel, who is considerably less cosy with Moscow than was her predecessor Gerhard Schroeder, also raised the case of rights activist Natalya Estemirova, found murdered in the Caucasus one year ago.

Merkel described the issue as of “great importance”, adding: “In this respect it is important to continue the work to find the truth.”

Source: SGGP

Burgers, Boeings and bonhomie as Obama meets Medvedev

In Uncategorized on June 25, 2010 at 4:49 am

WASHINGTON (AFP) – US President Barack Obama called his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev a “solid and reliable partner” as the leaders forged a warmer relationship over burgers and a stroll.

“We listen to one another and we speak candidly…. By any measure, we have made significant progress and achieved concrete results,” Obama added.

US President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev eat burgers during a lunch at Ray’s Hell Burger in Arlington, Virginia. AFP

After signing a landmark nuclear arms reduction treaty signed in April, each leader sought new economic frontiers, announcing a deal to resume US poultry exports to Russia after a row over health and safety standards.

That deal allowed Obama to say he would order US negotiators to accelerate a dialogue with Moscow on Russia’s long desired entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Obama, struggling to cut US jobless rolls, also said that Russia would buy 50 Boeing aircraft valued at four billion dollars that could create 44,000 American jobs, part of a broad array of major trade and investment deals.

Medvedev said the work he and Obama had done had made the world “safer” and, after arriving in Washington from high-tech Silicon Valley, said it was time to move on from geopolitical cooperation to the economic sphere.

“We are ready for that now; our American partners are ready for the same thing.”

The imagery of the visit was carefully planned to suggest a relationship functioning both at a personal level, as well as diplomatically.

Obama and Medvedev left the White House after their talks to munch cheese burgers at the president’s favorite fast food joint in Arlington, Virginia, “Ray’s Hell-Burger.”

Later, in a highly unusual move, the two presidents left the White House under the gaze of Secret Service sharpshooters on nearby roofs, and strolled to a Russia investment summit at the nearby US Chamber of Commerce.

Obama noted that Medvedev had visited the California headquarters of “Twitters,” slightly mangling the name of the micro-blogging site at which he opened an account and sent his first tweets.

“I have one (an account) as well, so we may be able to finally throw away those red phones that have been sitting around for so long,” Obama joked.

Obama noted how the United States and Russia had worked together to further disarmament, to open new transit routes to Afghanistan and to frame new nuclear sanctions against Iran in the United Nations Security Council.

The only sign of discord at the summit was an acknowledgement by Obama that the two sides were not on the same page on everything.

“Our two countries continue to disagree on certain issues, such as Georgia, and we addressed those differences candidly.

“But by moving forward in areas where we do agree, we have succeeded in resetting our relationship, which benefits regional and global security.”

In that vein the two leaders issued a sheaf of statements, agreeing to work together on issues as diverse as rules for adoption, putting air marshals on US-Russia flights, and expressing concern at events in Kyrgyzstan.

Obama took office vowing to recalibrate relations with the Kremlin, after a tense period in the latter years of the Bush administration, which included tensions over Russia’s war with Georgia.

However, some US critics of Obama say he may be relying too much on a personal relationship with Medvedev, and argue that the real power in Russia lies with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

They also cite what they say is a deteriorating human rights situation in Russia and question whether Moscow is merely cooperating with Washington in the short-term in a bid to enhance its long-term geopolitical interests.

The Russian leader said he wanted to learn the lessons from Silicon Valley, the birthplace of the high-tech revolution.

Medvedev’s first “tweet” from his new Twitter account, @KremlinRussia, was a message in Russian that was translated into English as “Hello everyone, I am now on Twitter.”

Besides Twitter, the Russian leader also paid a visit to the offices of technology star Apple and secured a commitment from US networking giant Cisco that it would invest one billion dollars in Russia.

One project Medvedev has singled out as a priority is the setting up of an innovation center in the Moscow suburb of Skolkovo, envisaging it as a Russian Silicon Valley.

After wrapping up his US visit, Medvedev is to take part in the Group of Eight and Group of 20 summits in Canada over the weekend.

Source: SGGP

Medvedev: New technologies would open access

In Uncategorized on June 24, 2010 at 4:39 am

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s daylong tour of Silicon Valley Wednesday started with a “tweet” — his first — and ended with a declaration of optimism that his country also would be able to adopt a high-tech economy that would give everyone a chance to succeed.

Medvedev visited the high-tech capital as part of a U.S. tour that will take him to Washington for meetings with President Barack Obama.

He said he wanted to “see with my own eyes the origins of success.”

The president has said he wants to bring more high-tech innovation to Russia’s oil-dependent economy, and create the country’s own Silicon Valley outside Moscow.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev smiles during a speech at Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif., Wednesday, June 23, 2010

“Russia is trying to become an open country,” he said during a speech at Stanford University, the last stop on his visit. “Open for investment, for trade, for joint projects in any sector of public life, and of course in economics.”

The president has faced criticism that no matter how strong his desire to bring new technologies, business and innovation into Russia, the country’s political and economic systems remain too corrupt for outsiders’ comfort.

But on Wednesday, while acknowledging the challenges, he remained confident that with the right partnerships and attitude, his country would succeed.

“In Russia, we have money, and in a number of cases, big money. But we don’t have Silicon Valley. That’s why this money should be spent correctly. It should be given to the right hands and there should be correct rules,” he said.

He was also bolstered by an announcement by Cisco Systems Inc. that it would invest $1 billion over 10 years to help foster high-tech innovation in Russia.

Medvedev kicked off his high-tech tour in a meeting with Evan Williams and Biz Stone, the co-founders of Twitter, the popular microblogging site.

At Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters, Medvedev set up a Twitter account under the name “KremlinRussia” and sent his first tweet.

The debut was in Russian: “Hello everyone. I am now in Twitter, and this is my first message.”

During his speech, Medvedev listed 10 points he believes will pave the way for Russia’s success, including reforming the nation’s health care and education systems, and creating a more reliable court system and stronger financial system.

His audience at Stanford included former Secretary of States George Shultz and Condoleezza Rice, both fellows at the university’s Hoover Institution.

In a private meeting before the speech with Shultz, Rice, Stanford Provost John Etchemendy and others, Medvedev spoke candidly about some of the challenges facing Russia.

He said Russia must try to combat the problem of so-called “brain drain” when young minds leave the country for opportunities elsewhere.

“If young people encounter better conditions abroad, it means we failed to do something and they leave. Our task is to make sure we are competitive,” he said, according to quotes provided by the Stanford News Service, which was given access to the meeting.

He also acknowledged a problem with getting investments.

“Unfortunately for us, venture capitalism is not going so well so far. No one wants to run the risk. It’s a problem of culture, as Steve Jobs told me today. We need to change the mentality pattern on this,” he said.

As part of his Silicon Valley tour, Medvedev met earlier Wednesday with Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs in Cupertino.

In four months the Kremlin has lavished an “innograd” — or innovation city — project with budget allocations of hundreds of millions of dollars.

Analysts have warned, however, that without genuine reform of Russia’s tremendous state machine, a mega-project like Skolkovo will be doomed.

Medvedev said, in the end, the project will depend on the will of the people and businesses.

“If you are ready to help in this project, I’m sure it has all the chances to be implemented,” he said.

Earlier in the day, Medvedev met with Cisco CEO John Chambers at the company’s San Jose headquarters, where Cisco said it plans to establish a physical presence in Skolkovo and set up a second global headquarters for its emerging technologies group there.

“We’re very honored to commit to your dream,” Chambers said as the men signed a memorandum of understanding, with California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and other guests looking on.

Source: SGGP

Russian leader Medvedev plugs into Silicon Valley

In Uncategorized on June 23, 2010 at 4:33 am

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev started his first US visit with a stop in California to tap into the innovative power that has made Silicon Valley a hotbed for winning technology firms.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (R) looks on as California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (C) and Victor Vekselberg (L), chairman of the board, Renova Group of Companies, sign a memorandum of understanding to preserve Fort Ross State Park during a visit to San Francisco, California, on Tuesday, June 22, 2010.

Medvedev met with actor-turned-governor Arnold Schwarzenegger late Tuesday after arriving in San Francisco.

Apple, Google, Twitter, and Cisco were on his itinerary for the following day and he is reportedly interested in getting talent or pacts from the Silicon Valley stars.

“My purpose is not just to see what is going on there, it is not a guided tour,” Medvedev said through an interpreter while chatting with Schwarzenegger at a hotel in San Francisco’s upscale Russian Hill neighborhood.

“I would like to have my visit be translated into full-fledged relations and into cooperation with those companies.”

Schwarzenegger offered to put together a trade delegation to “help in any way possible to improve and build on the already fast growing economy in Russia.”

Medvedev welcomed the proposal, referring to California as a linchpin in the US economy.

The Russian president is interested in recreating Silicon Valley’s winning formula in a technology “hub” outside of Moscow to diversify the economy, which relies heavily on oil production.

“We know you are very interested not only in developing and diversifying the economy but also you are very interested in nuclear disarmament,” Schwarzenegger said to Medvedev.

“I want to tell you how much I appreciate that.”

Former US secretary of state George Shultz was at the meeting and took the opportunity to hand Medvedev a copy of the newly released documentary “Nuclear Tipping Point” he helped to create.

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.

Schwarzenegger drew laughter from Medvedev with recollections of spending a snowy winter in Russian filming “Red Heat” during his action hero movie star days and of being motivated by Russian weightlifters to become a body builder.

“San Francisco is a beautiful city,” Medvedev said as his chat with Schwarzenegger turned social.

“The weather keeps changing every two or three minutes so the picture is changing all the time. It is very difficult to work in this city because one wants to enjoy it.”


Source: SGGP

Russia serious about change, Medvedev tells West

In Uncategorized on June 18, 2010 at 12:21 pm

President Dmitry Medvedev promised the West on Friday that a “changing” Russia was serious about economic reform, saying it needed a boom in foreign investment to modernise its economy.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev delivers a speech during the opening ceremony of the annual International Economic Forum in Saint Petersburg on June 18, 2010.

“We are truly modernising Russia,” Medvedev, Russia’s third post-Soviet president, told business leaders in a keynote speech at the annual economic forum in its second city of Saint Petersburg.

“The changes take time but it will happen,” he declared in the former imperial capital founded by Tsar Peter the Great in 1703 to serve as Russia’s window to the West and to narrow its gap with the West.

“Russia understands the tasks ahead and is changing for itself and for the rest of the world,” said Medvedev.

Medvedev — who took over the Kremlin from his strongman predecessor Vladimir Putin in 2008 — has made modernisation a mantra of his presidency but has been criticised by economists for failing to follow rhetoric with actions.

In a surprise announcement warmly welcomed by the audience, Medvedev said that from 2011 Russia would abolish capital gains tax for long-term direct investment.

“Russia must become a country which attracts people from around the world to realise their dreams,” he said.

He also promised more relaxed visa policies for qualified foreign businessmen working in Russia and a strengthening of the legal basis for business in a country still blighted by corruption.

“Russia needs a genuine investment boom,” said Medvedev.

Medvedev announced he had signed a decree that would cut fivefold the number of firms deemed “strategic” and in which the state is obliged to own a stake, opening the way for broader participation of foreign companies in the country’s top companies.

Under Putin, Russia drew up a list of sectors, first and foremost energy, in which foreign participation is limited.

German Gref, ex-economy minister and now head of Russia’s largest bank Sberbank, said this was a crucial development as it showed the “state will gradually withdraw from direct participation in the economy”.

The Saint Petersburg Forum, sometimes dubbed “the Russian Davos” after the annual get-together in Switzerland, is Russia’s most important platform for showing off its economy to the world.

Medvedev asserted that Russia was emerging from the economic crisis with decent economic growth of around four percent in the first five months of 2010.

He also emphasized that the oil- and gas-rich country was being spared the budget crises currently besetting some European Union states, even if Russia had to tighten its belt.

“We have no problem with our sovereign debt. It is minimal,” said Medvedev.

But he added: “We do not have so much money in the budget for structural changes. What we have we can and must use in a different way — more effectively and result-orientated.”

The global financial crisis that broke in late 2008 prompted worries that Russia again risked an economic meltdown of the kind it endured in 1998 when it defaulted on sovereign debt.

The economy contracted 7.9 percent in 2009 but has now started moving into recovery, although economists warn it will take years for Russia to recover pre-crisis growth rates.

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