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Call For Reform, Political Developments Assessed

President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin during a meeting on the development of the political system on January 22 in Moscow

Report Calls For Political Reform

On February 3, the Institute of Contemporary Development (INSOR), a think tank that answers to President Dmitry Medvedev, published a paper called “Russia in the 21st Century -- Vision for a Desirable Tomorrow.”

INSOR chairman Igor Yurgens discusses the paper's call for a major shift of political course. He says the power and influence of the small club of oligarchs and top officials of the “power structures” are “over-inflated” and that their actions are guided first and foremost by their “instinct for self preservation.”

Yurgens says Medvedev is the right man to implement the reforms, but co-leader of the Solidarity movement Boris Nemtsov tells RFE/RL that Medvedev “owes everything to Putin” and is “completely loyal” to the current prime minister.

[read in Russian]

'Putin Has Outmaneuvered Everyone'

Dmitri Travin of the European University in St. Petersburg talks with RFE/RL about recent political developments, including Sergei Mironov’s criticism of Vladimir Putin’s economic policies, Igor Yurgens' initiatives, and prospects for a new political party established by Boris Yeltsin’s daughter.

Travin concludes that Putin has outmaneuvered his opponents and is in firm control of Russian leadership. “I have the impression that Medvedev has somewhat abandoned his position [outlined in his State of the Nation Address and "Russia Forward!" essay] and has been forced to accommodate the demands made on him by Putin or the people who defend the premier’s positions," he says.

[read in Russian]