Friday, February 26, 2010

Medvedev Meets His (Paris) Match

In-depth interviews with the Russian president in the Western media are somewhat of a rare occurrence, so I wanted to make sure to link to this story about Dmitry Medvedev’s recent sit-down with Paris Match magazine.

The motivation for the interview was France’s launching of the “Year of Russia”, a yearlong celebration of Russian culture and Russo-Franco relations. Beyond the kind of platitudes you’d expect him to give towards France during such an occasion, along with some warm memories of a trip to Paris, Medvedev actually had a few interesting things to say about international affairs. Among them are Medvedev’s belief that a new set of regulations need to be introduced into the global financial markets (something France’s Nikolas Sarkozy has been pushing for during the past few months), and that while Russia doesn’t view NATO as a threat, they’re also are not happy with the ongoing expansion of the military alliance. As for Iran, Medvedev didn’t seem terribly interested in slapping a new round of sanctions on the country, saying instead that it’s up to Iran to make a decision on bringing their nuclear program inline with international norms. On the domestic side Medvedev said there was still a lot of work to do in battling corruption and that Russia needs to diversify their economy away from its current over-reliance on extracting raw minerals. He also insisted again that he and Vladimir Putin have a “good relationship”.

A full transcript of the interview can be found here.
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