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Outgoing PM Dmitry Medvedev's most memorable quotes

Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev-led government tendered its resignation on January 15; Medvedev has chaired the Russian Cabinet since May 8, 2012

MOSCOW, January 16. /TASS/. Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev-led government tendered its resignation on January 15. Medvedev has chaired the Russian Cabinet since May 8, 2012. He has been in office for seven years and eight months.

TASS has compiled a collection of Dmitry Medvedev’s brightest remarks on various subjects made over the period of his premiership.


About Vladimir Putin and himself

"In everyday life we are just friends. Perhaps, few will believe this, but it is true that we are not competitors, but close associates and friends. It’s been so for 20 years. Otherwise I would’ve never made a political career in Moscow… Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and yours truly are both responsible people. We are pragmatic politicians and not daydreamers, we should proceed from the understanding of what is the easiest way of achieving the declared political aims." (at a meeting with supporters in Moscow on October 15, 2001).


About political career

"I’m still a young politician. I’ve not ruled out running again if that's of interest to the people and I’m not planning to leave politics in the near future. If people are tired of me and say goodbye to me then I'll start writing my memoirs." (in an interview to The Times, UK, in July 2012).


About criticism

"May everybody feel free to criticize President Putin and Prime Minister Medvedev. The way I see it, this is what democracy is all about, an absolutely normal situation. It will go on like this in the social networks." (at a joint news conference with Finland’s Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen on November 14, 2012).


About rumors of resignation

"I’m still a more seasoned fighter than many of my comrades. I told them [members of the government — TASS]: "Guys, take it easy, keep working, because sooner or later you will all be fired. This is how life works." (in the program Central Television on the NTV channel on May 26, 2013).


About subordination

"Colleagues, there can be no democracy. Here, there’s only one boss, it’s me, and you all will speak when I tell you it’s your turn." (at a meeting on road safety on March 29, 2013).


"Very often ... at the end of a government meeting, when the media aren’t in the room anymore (generally I ask all those invited to leave, thanking them for their participation, and leave only the members of the government), I brief them on the right way to understand the ‘party’s policy’, as it was often said in Soviet times. In other words, I point out certain shortcomings in their work." (From the “In Conversation with Dmitry Medvedev” program on December 5, 2019).


About party affiliation

"Party membership cards need to be upgraded. <...> It would be even cooler to plant a chip under the skin, so that no party member should have a chance to escape anywhere ... Then it would immediately be clear where any party member spent the night." (from a speech at a meeting of the General Council of the United Russia party on May 26, 2012).


About the search for sources of government revenue

"We need, perhaps, not extraordinary, but generally new ideas about where to get the money from." (at a government meeting on the long-term tariff policy on rail transport on August 6, 2012).


About lack of budget money

"There just isn’t any money now… You all just hang in there. Best wishes! Cheers!" (at a meeting with local residents in Feodosiya on May 23, 2016).


About people’s incomes

"The most important thing is the well-being of the people and their feelings. If they understand that their incomes are stable or even better that they’re growing, then that’s good. If they think that their material well-being is deteriorating, then that’s very bad, it’s an alarming signal for the state." (From the “In Conversation with Dmitry Medvedev” program on December 5, 2019).


About the most difficult decision

"One of the most difficult decisions for me and the government and for the president of the country was the decision on pension reform. It was very complicated, tense, and in some ways [it] involved uneasy expectations. Frankly, I didn’t want to make such a decision, that’s absolutely clear. But it had to be adopted, so that our economy could develop and our people live under normal conditions. To let the financial system work and prevent it from suffocating. It was one of the most difficult and dramatic decisions." (From the “In Conversation with Dmitry Medvedev” program on December 5, 2019).


About the development of competition

"Many of the people who have been taking seats at this desk for decades (of the Russian government — TASS) are not interested in any competition simply because they defend the position of their industry, but it should not be so. Therefore, if we are to press for competition in earnest, we need to start struggling with ourselves." (at a meeting of the Open Government on June 27, 2012).


About privatization

"It doesn’t matter what color the cat is, as long as it catches mice. Regarding privatization, it doesn’t matter who the buyer is, provided good money is paid." (From the “In Conversation with Dmitry Medvedev” program on December 5, 2019).


About relations with Ukraine

"Whatever the Ukrainian rulers may say, the blackout [the cutoff of electricity supplies to Crimea from Ukraine — TASS] is nothing but genocide. It's a completely boorish attitude, as the people say. Well, what can I call it? An outrage. Period." (in an interview with Russian TV channels on December 9, 2015).


About Western partners

"Our Western partners sometimes behave like a bull in a china shop. They burst in, ruin everything inside, and then get curious what to do about it." (in an interview with Russia Today, August 4, 2013).


About Western sanctions

"We had hoped until the very last moment that our foreign colleges would understand that sanctions are a dead end, that nobody needs them. But they haven’t realized this yet." (at a meeting of the Russian government on August 7, 2014).

"We’ll never ask for these sanctions to be lifted. They’ll come and say: Let’s finally put an end to this because nobody is better off with it; everyone is only the worse off." (in an interview to Time magazine, February 15, 2016).

"Whom has it helped feel better? By the way, the Americans just do not care a bit, because they still have about $25-billion trade with us. They didn’t lose anything. <...> While the Europeans saw a slump by half." (From the “In Conversation with Dmitry Medvedev” program on December 5, 2019).


About relations with partners in the WTO

"We have been kept in the antechamber for 17 years, where we persistently tried to prove that we deserved entry into the world trade community ... Now we have every right to demand compliance with the established rules and norms from other countries participating in the WTO. No need to be shy. It is appropriate to fight back where it’s reasonable and legal!" (making the annual government report to the State Duma on April 22, 2014).


About nostalgia for the Soviet Union

"If you don’t discard bad things, it will be impossible to live on. That’s how human memory works. There is certain idealization. <...> But the Soviet Union cannot be idealized. I will tell you frankly. A vast majority of modern youth would’ve been unable to live there. <...> But it should not be looked at as a blank spot by any means. The Soviet Union is our history — controversial, but very important." (From the “In Conversation with Dmitry Medvedev” program on December 5, 2019).


About the roads

"In Scandinavia, the climate is not better than ours. And in Canada it is not better than ours. But engineering and construction standards are respected there and far less is stolen." (in a distance conference on ways of improving the quality of regional and municipal roads on April 29, 2016).


About low school teacher salaries

"It is a calling [the profession of a teacher — TASS]. If you want to make money, there are lots of wonderful places where you can do this faster and better." (at a meeting with participants of the Terra Scientia forum on August 4 2016).


About artificial intelligence

"Governments around the world should hurry until an artificial superintelligence comes to power and changes our bodies and presses the ‘delete’ button in order to reset our minds." (from a speech at the Open Innovations forum in Skolkovo, October 23, 2017).


About the Nobel Prize

"I cannot say anything about the Nobel Prize. Probably, getting it is no more difficult than becoming a world football champion." (at a meeting of the organizing committee for the International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements on February 6, 2019).


About the doctoral dissertation

"At a certain point I had an idea of writing a doctorate only to eventually decide that I won’t do it. Because it will look very funny." (at a meeting with post-graduate students of Russian universities on March 26, 2013).


About the nickname

"When they call me Dimon on the Internet, it’s completely normal. It’s human touch. That’s the kind of environment you encounter there. <...> Dimon? Well, they called me this way when I was a boy. That’s childish, I don’t mind." (in an interview with the newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda May 22, 2013).


About philosophy in life

"Being in good shape and having a smile on my face — that’s my philosophy of life." (at a meeting with students of the Moscow Institute of Steel and Alloys on January 24, 2014).

"In general, I am an optimist. Everything will be fine in the historical perspective. For now it will be difficult. Humanity would have disappeared altogether if, in the long run, everything had not been fine in the historical perspective." (From the “In Conversation with Dmitry Medvedev” program on December 5, 2019).