Magazine article Europe-East

Eu-Russia Summit : Medvedev Pledges to Modernise Political System in Russia

Magazine article Europe-East

Eu-Russia Summit : Medvedev Pledges to Modernise Political System in Russia

Article excerpt

Ahead of the EU-Russia summit in Brussels, on 7 December, Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev had reaffirmed his strong commitment not only to modernise and remodel his country's economy but also to create a "modern political system". During his first official visit to Poland after taking over Russia's helm in 2008 from Vladimir Putin, Medvedev emphasised the importance of the European Union in helping Russia to achieve this aim.

"To create a modern economy we need to have in our country a modern political mechanism ensuring, securing the fundamental rights and freedoms," said Medvedev in an interview with Polish media, on 6 December. The Russian leadership has been strongly criticised by the EU for its poor record in rule of law enforcement and for widespread corruption as well as for restricting civil liberties and misusing the legal and judicial systems for political purposes

Medvedev explained that there is a strong demand not only for economic but also for political reforms within Russian society. "A significant portion of our society, of our people identifies themselves with Europe, with values that came to us from Europe - religious, moral and political values," said Medvedev. "That is why both these dimensions - building a modern developed economy and a developed political system - should be synchronised," he explained, emphasising the importance of a good relationship between the EU and Russia in this context. "I would like to recall that the European Union is our major partner. …

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