Related News

Home » World

Medvedev sees Russian bear as attractive

THE Russian bear must show an attractive, reassuring face to the world to win respect and influence, must never be prickly or jealous in cultivating its partners, but must respond firmly if circumstances demand.

Such is President Dmitry Medvedev's view of Russia's historic bear image, so often used against it by rivals seeking to portray Russia as brutish and ill-humoured.

"Our image must be one with which our partners can be comfortable," Medvedev said in an interview with NTV television.

"We should not be prickly and hard to approach, but at the same time we should be able to give a firm response when circumstances call for it," he added.

Asked whether he felt uncomfortable with the bear image, Medvedev, whose own family name derives from the word "bear," said: "It's an image close to my heart."

Medvedev took over last year from Vladimir Putin, whose eight-year presidency coincided with a strong economic boom. The global economic crisis has hit Russia hard, driving oil prices from over US$140 per barrel a year ago to just over US$60 now.

In a message to the Russian people, Medvedev said better ties with the West were in Russia's interests and prosperity at home would help the country's image abroad.

"If we want to present the right image to the world, we need to resolve our pressing problems, above all our social and economic problems," Medvedev said.

"We are striving to create a modern, competitive country," he added. "We can only create such a country if we have normal ties with the world."

Medvedev said modernizing the Russian economy, curbing corruption, the promise of successive Russian leaders, and introducing the rule of law are his top priorities.

He told NTV that creating closer ties with the West was a long-term strategy. "We cannot produce certain technologies, certain services ourselves - even if we create the most developed society and the most powerful economy," he said.

As part of his rapprochement with the West, Medvedev has engaged with United States President Barack Obama in "resetting" relations between Moscow and Washington.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend