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Vladimir Putin called for dialogue with all political forces at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum

June 22, 2012, 13:30 UTC+3

The threat of a crisis changed the Kremlin rhetoric

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MOSCOW, June 22 (Itar-Tass) - Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered a speech at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum under the motto “Efficient Leadership” on Thursday. He stated that the budget will be formed without world oil prices taken into account too much. Meanwhile, he called for dialogue “with all political forces” and pledged to protect the business community.

The threat of a crisis changed the Kremlin rhetoric, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily reported. The Russian main economic forum is being held under the threat of a coming crisis and an escalated political situation in Russia this year, the newspaper noted. The ministers warned about a possible fall of oil prices and cut budget expenditures. President Vladimir Putin called for “dialogue with all political forces” and pledged to protect the business community. For this purpose he vested a new business ombudsman Boris Titov with the right to suspend departmental regulatory acts until a court ruling.

The president devoted the final part of this speech to democracy, explaining that the economy cannot be built without a mature civil society, the Novye Izvestia daily noted. “The state authorities should meet the needs of the society and be open for dialogue. I am convinced that the democratic political system should guarantee not only the legitimacy of power, but also confidence in its fair nature,” he said. Vladimir Putin also dwelt on “the desire for changes,” which, according to him, is certainly an engine of progress, but “it becomes counterproductive and dangerous, if it is leading to the ruining of civil peace.” In this respect, the president offered to develop a national formula of democracy and development.

The highlight of the first day of the forum – Putin’s speech did not contain revolutionary statements, the RBC daily reported. All statements in the presidential speech were voiced repeatedly in his previous speeches. The main ideas of his speech is that neither Russian budget nor commitments of the authorities will be linked with the current oil price in the near future, the government will continue to attract investments in the country, the business received its ombudsman.

On Thursday, at the St. Petersburg Economic Forum Putin offered dialogue to all political forces to find a response, which will be common and acceptable for an overwhelming majority of people, to the question about a national model of democracy and development, the Vedomosti daily noted. The activists of the civil opposition from the co-founders of the League of Voters will be probably among those, with whom the president will have to keep dialogue. They were nominated as candidates for members of the Presidential Human Rights Council. They can replace those, who left the council after the parliamentary elections and Putin’s inauguration. The list of 51 candidates was made by Chairman of the council and Presidential Adviser Mikhail Fedotov on the initiatives of members of the council, including those, who quitted it.

Writer Grigory Chkhartishvili (Boris Akunin), coordinator of Blue Buckets Pyotr Shkumatov, TV reporter Leonid Parfenov and essayist Yuri Saprykin were nominated in a new makeup of the council. Other persistent critics of the authorities, including head of the Centre of Strategic Developments Mikhail Dmitriyev, lawyers Pavel Chikov, scientific chief of the Higher School of Economics Yevgeny Yasin were also nominated in the council.

The nomination of all of them in the list is not accidental, as this is an attempt to extend a helping hand to the movement of civil protest, begin dialogue, a source close to Fedotov said.

Now Fedotov will discuss personally with candidates their intentions to join the council and will present it to Putin within next week and a half after the formation of the final list. The makeup of the council is approved under the presidential decree.





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