President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Friends,
First of all, I sincerely congratulate you on the upcoming holiday: the 20th anniversary of your company’s creation. Twenty years does not seem like a very long time in the history of a nation, but in those twenty years, a great deal has been done. Moreover, the entire complicated history of modern Russia fits into those twenty years. In 1991, everything seemed entirely different. In these 20 years, we have witnessed a variety of problems, which have stood before our nation, many political disturbances, and even the dramatic events in the life of our state and the development of television.
I sincerely congratulate you. I wish you luck and success in the creation of new, modern television. In this regard, you have already done a great deal.
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I think that regardless of what people say and write about our nation’s television, it nevertheless fulfils its mission. And as far as news broadcasting is concerned, in spite of new technologies, in spite of having the Internet, of which I am a big fan and suspect that all of you are too, a large part of our people learns about events in the world and in our nation by turning on the TV and tuning into your news broadcasts. Your mission is therefore absolutely essential.
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The National State Television and Radio Company is an enormous holding that includes over 80 companies. This shows how multifaceted our nation is, and at the same time, how unified. And I think that in principle, having that many companies creates precisely what television is supposed to create: unity, the continuity of our territory, a common information space that, for certain nations perhaps, is an entirely virtual understanding, but for us, it is absolutely clear and completely real. Because, for example, if one of the studios represented here today cannot broadcast the news, then an entire region of the Russian Federation, or perhaps even several regions, will find themselves unplugged from mainstream news. That is just impossible to imagine in the modern world.
Head and Anchor of The Leading Vesti v subbotu [News On Saturday With Sergei Brilev] Programme Sergei Brilev: Today’s major national news had to do with something that Vladimir Putin said. He said that you support the People’s Front. Is that true?
Dmitry Medvedev: You know, the President of Russia – let me remind you – is the guarantor of the Constitution. It is true that I spoke with Vladimir Putin about the creation of the People’s Front. I understand the motives of the party wanting to maintain its influence in the nation. And overall, creating this kind of a pre-election alliance, in and of itself, generally falls within the framework of the current legislation and makes sense from the point of view of voting technologies. But I expect that other bodies, other election blocs, other parties, will try to participate in this electoral programme to the full extent. And thus, I think that the emergence of this alliance will be accompanied by an attempt to create other electoral alliances, other configurations, to achieve maximum results in the election.
All of this is in line with our electoral legislation. And in this case, as President of Russia, I feel that all of this fits into normal election and voting technologies. My challenge in this situation is to keep watch and ensure that electoral legislation is applied correctly, and that it assures the necessary competition on our nation’s political field. Only then will our political system be stable.
Sergey Brilev: You won’t leave us without any work to do?
Dmitry Medvedev: No, you won’t be bored. Because if we assume that everything is already decided and will develop in accordance with a particular scenario, then our political system have no future. Everything is still ahead, and the electoral battles are still before us. Not a single political force can consider itself to be dominant. But at the same time, it seems to me that every political power must strive for maximum success. So we are awaiting some interesting events on the political front, on the political horizon. And indeed, your challenge is to broadcast all of this.
Sergey Brilev: Well, as we were saying, the programme is laid out. Overall, we have things to report on.
Dmitry Medvedev: Not all of it, not yet. Have no doubt: all the political powers will still have their say. This is just the beginning of the political season. I hope that it will be interesting. But, speaking seriously, what’s most important is for the elections to result in a hard-working parliament in the State Duma. A parliament that reflects our citizens’ current preferences to the greatest extent – not the preferences of one political power, but of all voters. And that is the objective for all the political parties: to ensure that their voters are not deprived of their due share, that they have their representatives in the State Duma. That is the only way we can have a balanced political system. These are the plans for the future.