UnNews:Putin protégé reveals his moderate side

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Putin protégé reveals his moderate side

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16 February 2008


Mr Putin denied reports that he manipulated Mr Medvedev like a puppet on strings, comparing the relationship more to a line with a suitably tasty lure.

THE KREMLIИ, Moscow, Friday (UИИ) — Dracul Medvedev, the chosen successor to President Vladimir Putin, has presented his platform for the presidency in a speech before Siberian business leaders which struck markedly liberal notes.

Only a day before, Putin had sharply criticised the West, threatened to aim strategic missiles at Europe and said that Russia would develop its own, state-centred brand of democracy without instruction from outside. Medvedev spoke in softer tones, promising to poison exiled opponents with more gentle radioactive materials and to nationalise the assets of out-of-favour oligarchs in a "greener" and more ecologically sound way.

"Freedom is better than nonfreedom," he said in his opening remarks. "These words are the quintessence of human experience. Similarly, money is better than no money, food is better than no food and keeping your head down is better than having it stick out necessitating us regretfully having to kick it."

Medvedev pressed on, broadly indicting Russia's state of civic affairs in which he moved past the economic and political successes of Putin's eight years in power and focused on the country's deep and enduring problems. "The courts and bureaucracy are riddled with corruption, occasionally being bribable into giving incorrect results out of accord with the needs of the Kremlin."

Medvedev is Putin's personally selected successor, and Putin has said that although he will serve as Medvedev's prime minister, Medvedev will be free to choose his own direction. "I look forward to his completely independent presidential reign, and certainly don't know where all the bodies are buried or have Secret Service assassins protecting his family or anything like that. Perish the thought, and not Medvedev."

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