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Medvedev coy over candidacy

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Medvedev coy over candidacy


Russian president Dmitri Medvedev has not ruled out running in next year’s presidential race, but neither has he confirmed that he will.

He was speaking in his first full news conference; although Medvedev has been in office for three years, he has never held an audience like this one. Some 800 journalists from a full range of media were accredited to take part. Medvedev held the stage alone, taking questions.

He said the timing was important when a politician presents himself as a candidate, and that he would respect the rules and make his announcement later.

The atmosphere at the Skolkovo new innovation centre outside Moscow was jovial. The venue is symbolic, as a key part of Medvedev’s ambitions for national modernisation. The place is nicknamed ‘Russia’s Silicon Valley’, after the information technology Mecca in California.

He made a big thing about having travelled to nearly all the country’s regions. There were plenty of practical as well as politically oriented topics raised, such as replacing regional governors and his working relationship with his predecessor Vladimir Putin. Medvedev said he and Putin were “truly like-minded” although they did not always see eye to eye on everything.

He also had a word of warning for the United States over its plans to build a missile defence shield in Europe. Such proposals, he said, risked dragging the great rivals back into a Cold War environment and could even see Russia pulling out of the START nuclear disarmament treaty.

Probed on other issues, Medvedev repeatedly answered briefly and said: “We’ll discuss this more, later.”

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