Russian President Dmitri Medvedev made it clear that a visit to Brussels was for him to talk about the future of the euro and visa-free travel, not for Russia’s democratic credentials to be questioned.
Despite that, Medvedev had to listen to his European counterparts express concern over Russia’s recent parliamentary elections following allegations they were rigged.
‘‘We are concerned by irregularities and lack of fairness as reported by observers as well as parts of the Russian public. And we are concerned about the detention of protesters,’‘ EU Council President Herman Van Rompuy said.
But neither those concerns, nor a resolution passed by MEPs calling for an election re-run, did much to impress Medvedev during this EU Russian summit.
‘‘I have nothing to say. These were our elections. It is not the European Parliament’s business. They can say whatever they want, but I have no comment as it has no meaning for me. Even so, yesterday as far as I know, both main and opposition parties inside our parliament clearly expressed their strong disagreement with the European Parliament. It should concern itself with European issues – look how many problems you have. My position has not changed,’‘ the Russian President said.
Despite the difference of opinion Medvedev did promise to help Europe, via the IMF, with its debt crisis, pledging around 7.5 billion euro.
Speaking from the European Council in Brussels, euronews’ Andrei Beketov said: “Dmitri Medvedev had to come here and look EU leaders in the eyes even though many have deep reservations about the democratic standards in Russia. President Medvedev is not seeking re-election, for that reason the next EU-Russia summit with his likely successor Vladimir Putin will arguably be more important.’‘