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Russian President Warns Parliamentary Democracy Would Be 'Catastrophe'

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev meets with foreign political scientists during the International Political Forum in Yaroslavl.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has said that parliamentary democracy would be a "catastrophe" for Russia.

Speaking at a two-day conference in Yaroslavl, northeast of Moscow, Medvedev said Russia's current political system should be modernized "with great caution, step-by-step."

Medvedev said many Russians had a "difficult relationship" with democracy, especially since the post-communist 1990s led to a rise in poverty.

Medvedev has been criticized for the slow pace of democratic reforms since winning power two years ago, and for brutal police crackdowns on protests.

compiled from agency reports