Time to rethink Russian system: Prez Medvedev

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said he wanted to make Russia freer and less centralised.

Moscow: President Dmitry Medvedev
on Monday said it was time to rethink the Russian system, with a
view to making it freer and less centralised.

"It is completely obvious the centralisation of
power in any state and even in such a complex federal state
like Russia could not continue forever," Medvedev told
billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, a strong opponent of the
dominance of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin`s ruling
faction.

"Now it`s time to think how our whole system ...
could become less bureaucratic, freer and considerably less
centralised," Medvedev told the tycoon at the Gorky
presidential residence outside Moscow.

"I hope Pravoe Delo (Right Cause) will take part in
it," said Medvedev as he endorsed some of the businessman`s
ideas while calling others "revolutionary," in remarks
released by the Kremlin.

Ranked Russia`s second richest man with a reported
fortune of USD 22.7 billion, Prokhorov over the weekend won
the leadership of the pro-reform party, pledging to help it
win enough votes to gain entry to parliament in December polls
and whittle down the influence of Putin`s United Russia.

Prokhorov has publicly savaged Russia`s top-down
power structure, calling the country an "empire." In a meeting
with Medvedev, he reiterated that sentiment, saying Russia
should elect rather than nominate prosecutors and police
chiefs.

Speaking in an interview with business daily
Vedomosti released earlier today, Prokhorov also said one of
the top three state television channels should be privatised
to make news media more diverse and competitive.

Bureau Report