President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Dear colleagues,
We're not going to change the rules: regular communication – what I promised after my election as President – is continuing. Last time we met in an exotic location, in Krasnaya Polyana. I hope everybody enjoyed it.
Quite some time has passed and various events have taken place in our country and abroad. I'm certainly happy to tell you at least about processes underway in international life. I am referring to the G20 summits which took place, what positions are being put forward.
Not long ago I published an article entitled Go Russia! which focused on how we live. I trust that you heard something about it or looked at it. I have even heard interesting comments from some of those here.
I propose to discuss the Presidential Address because this year it is being prepared somewhat differently. For the first time I changed the tradition and in fact published an outline of the Address in advance.
Naturally, we can talk about modernising our economy and our social sphere, about what we should do regarding science, how to develop production, what should be the exit strategy from the economic crisis, how to develop our political system and democracy.
Not so long ago on October 11th elections took place which were generally well-organised. Nevertheless, our parliamentary parties had very different assessments of them. This is not surprising because, as a rule, whoever wins always perceives the results as absolutely positive, but the ones who have different results have another assessment.
Emotions were numerous. For this reason I agreed to meet with you and discuss the results of elections to the legislative assemblies and local governments so that this does not become the so-called funeral of democracy and our electoral system, even though today I specially dressed in dark colours, in case you are in a kind of funeral mood.
Speaking seriously, of course I am ready to discuss the outcome of the elections with you, in light of the fact that naturally there are constitutional rules, a law and a procedure for challenging election results. This is so to speak an indispensable thing – as lawyers say it is the sine qua non of the electoral system, the condition without which there is no electoral system.
Nevertheless, our electoral system is still young. I believe that with regards to legislation we still have things to talk about. I know that ideas have been put forward by the Communist Party, A Just Russia and the Liberal Democratic Party. I am willing to hear these ideas from you because every year that goes by, no matter what happens or how people evaluate our voting technology, I believe that we are nevertheless moving forward; if you remember the 90s these were not quite elections but rather ways to show emotions. And the electoral law which was in effect, nevertheless took place on a completely different level. Today we have a proportional system for elections to the Duma, we are talking about proportional representation system with respect to other elections as well. Let's talk about that too.
In general, I am open to discussing this issue. And in order to communicate very informally I want to invite you all to lunch. Of course we can continue our discussion while we eat.