Moscow: President Dimitry Medvedev on Friday
asserted that parliamentary democracy would be a "catastrophe"
for Russia, as he rejected claims by western critics that the
Russian government was authoritarian.
Addressing a meeting of global leaders at the World
Policy Forum in ancient Russian city of Yaroslavl, Medvedev
said parliamentary democracy would be a catastrophe for
Russia, like it is for Kyrgyzstan.
"We are told about parliamentary democracy and our Kyrgyz
friends have gone along that path... But for Russia -- and I
fear for Kyrgyzstan -- parliamentary democracy is a
catastrophe," he added.
Around 400 were killed in Kyrgyzstan in June following
inter-ethnic clashed in the southern part of the country which
also led to the ouster of former president Kurmanbek Bakiyev.
During a referendum held in June this year most of citizens
voted to make Kyrgyzstan a parliamentary republic.
The President rejected the view that Russia was not a
democracy saying, "That is not so, Russia is a democracy -
young and immature, imperfect and inexperienced, but it is a
democracy." and added that criticism of Russia`s political
system was "unfair and tendentious".
"I know the shortcomings of this system - perhaps better
than anyone else, if only because I have more information,"
Medvedev told the western critics adding, "We are at the very
start of our path and it is a path to freedom."
He stressed the need for every Russian to realise that
he is a free person and this will give boost to democracy.
Medvedev also stressed that unlike authoritarian regimes
democracies are prone to terrorist attacks and they should be
rebuffed through tough response by the democratic societies.
He paid tributes to the victims of yesterday`s terror
attack in Vladikavkaz in the volatile Caucasus in which 17
people were killed and over 100 injured.
Several world leaders, including former Indian President
APJ Abdul Kalam, South Korean President Lee Myoung-bak and
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi are participating in
the Yaroslavl forum, dubbed as Russian Davos.
"The ability of the state in protecting its citizens from
terrorism, corruption, illegal migration and other phenomena
threatening our way of life and rejecting our values - is one
of the standards of democracy," Medvedev said.
The theme of Yaroslavl forum this year is - The Modern
State: Standards of Democracy and Criteria of Efficiency.
Cautioning that poverty could destroy democracy Medvedev
said,"In the past many totalitarian regimes came up in the
name of removing poverty among the common man."