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Russian PM expects tough presidential election campaign, warns against populism

April 19, 2017, 12:59 UTC+3

Medvedev says that the struggle is going to be tough, "just as it has been in any other presidential race"

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Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev

© Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS

MOSCOW, April 19. /TASS/. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev expects tough struggle during the forthcoming presidential election campaign in 2018 but at the same time warns against conflicts and populism.

"The people voted [in the 2016 parliamentary election] for stability and at the same time for development, for enabling us to do our utmost to make their life better. This is the main political expectation of our society today," Medvedev said as he addressed the State Duma with an annual report of the Cabinet’s performance last year on Wednesday.

"I am certain that it will remain on the agenda during the forthcoming presidential campaign," he stated.

"The struggle is going to be tough, just as it has been in any presidential election race," Medvedev said. "But you and me have never turned political struggle into war and we will not do so in the future," he said. "We are well aware that problems are many and if we waste efforts on populism, speculations and meaningless conflicts, this will play into the hands of those who are hardly concerned about how Russia will be living in the future and those who wish to weaken and isolate our country."

He acknowledged that a divergence of opinion was possible. "But our debate will concern only the methods of achieving the main goal. Our common goal is to develop the country and guarantee our people a prosperous life," he said.

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