The Associated Press is running a story on some comments made by President Medvedev during a television address following meetings with Yabloko party representatives. Considering the elements that Medvedev and other liberal reformers are up against in the Kremlin, he is telling the truth here – these are significant steps toward democracy, even if democracy is still a long, long ways away. Also, this news makes zero sense next to that other report from United Russia… This government appears to be split on message – either you are working toward democracy, or you are arguing that you don’t need it. Despite shortcomings and the whole words-vs.-actions thing, it is positive to hear the Russian president make these comments.
President Medvedev, as quoted by AP:
“I believe these decisions are aimed to create a modern, more democratic political system,” Medvedev said in televised remarks during the meeting at his residence outside Moscow.
“Of course, the formation of the political system is proceeding constantly,” he added — apparently eager to avoid the impression that he was criticizing Putin, the mentor who chose him as successor and now serves as prime minister. Many Russians believe Putin still holds the country’s reins.
Medvedevmet with leaders of Yabloko, a liberal party that has been out ofparliament since 2000; the little-known nationalist party Patriots ofRussia; and Right Cause, a party created last year with Kremlin support.
Hestruck an inclusive tone in comments broadcast on state television. Hepointed out that the parties have tens of thousands of members and saidit was “quite likely” they will “sooner or later” win seats in theState Duma, the lower house of parliament.