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PRESS RELEASE


Dmitri Medvedev Is Consensus Candidate To Succeed Putin

Dec. 10, 2007 (EIRNS)—First Deputy Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev has been nominated by four political parties to succeed Vladmir Putin as President of Russia. The parties include United Russia, (the party which ran Putin at the head of its slate); Mironov's A Just Russia (one of four parties which won seats in the Duma); the Agrarians (the largest of the parties which failed to win seats in the Duma, with 2% of the vote), and Civic Force. Medvedev, in his early 40s, has been a close collaborator of President Putin for 17 years. The election will occur on March 2.

As First Deputy Prime Minister for the past two years, Medvedev has been in charge of four National Projects: housing, agriculture, health, and science, while simultaneously serving as Chairman of the Board of Gazprom. The four sectors for which Medvedev were responsible were the sectors most devastated by the dismantling of Russia's economy in the 1990s. While these may be termed "soft infrastructure," Medvedev has supported the policy of state-owned corporations in the areas high-technology and manufacturing.

At the conclusion of the "Year of China" in Russia, in a Nov. 2 interview with Interfax, Medvedev was asked if there need to be additional National Projects. He said:

"You know, a National Project emerges when society and the state encounter big problems ... [for example] the agrarian reform of 1861 [ending serfdom by Czar Alexander II] or the reconstruction of the national economy after the Great Patriotic War [World War II]. In the space of three or four years, we pulled our enormous country out of the ruins.... And there were examples in other countries. I think that even the famous New Deal of U.S. President Roosevelt at the end of the 1920s-early 1930s can be considered an American big National Project—the project to get out of the Depression." At the end of the 1990s, Russia, too, was in a Depression, he said, "connected with the collapse of the previous state and the economic, and even emotional lack of preparedness for the changes that happened," and the concept of the present National Projects was created to meet this challenge.

Speaking at the Davos World Economic Forum in January 2007, Mevedev said, "The Russian economy will fully take up our historical mandate as the energy and transportation center of Eurasia."

In an interview with Expert journal earlier this year, Medvedev condemned "infighting," and said that "continued infighting could cause Russia to cease to exist as a unified state."

Medvedev also indicated his awareness of the dollar crisis in a speech to Russian Youth on July 21, 2007: "The crisis of the U.S. dollar may become general and global in nature, and a situation may arise where we, and China, and other nations talk about the emergence of alternative currencies.... It could be the yuan, but we think it should be the ruble."

The etymology of "Medvedev" means "bear": med from the Indo-European root for mead (honey), and veda (to know, as in Rig Veda); thus, one who knows where the honey is, i.e., a bear.