Asserting himself and his country as key global players, Russia’s new president has launched a stinging attack on the United States.
Speaking at an international business forum in St Petersburg, Dmitry Medvedev blamed what he called “aggressive” US policies for causing the world financial crisis.
Russia, on the other hand, he said, could be part of the solution and he stressed the Kremlin’s drive to make his country the world’s fifth largest economy by the year 2020.
With Vladimir Putin staying on as a powerful prime minister, it won’t be easy for Medvedev to emerge from the shadows of his influential predecessor.
Some observers are still questioning who is really running Russia.
The forum is taking place against the backdrop of a fierce dispute over strategy and future ownership of one of the country’s most important energy companies, TNK-BP. The energy sector is key to Russia, the world’s biggest gas producer and its second-biggest exporter of oil.