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PM Medvedev comments on recent anti-corruption protests

The protests are organized by those who seek to achieve their own political goals, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said

TAMBOV, April 4. /TASS/. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has stated that the protests and the anti-government smear campaign have been organized by those who seek to achieve their own political goals.

"Those that benefit are those who order such [compromising] stories. As a rule, these are the people who pursue specific political ends," Medvedev said in response to a request to comment on accusations against him that appeared online.

"What are these people seeking to achieve with these materials? Naturally, they are trying to show that the authorities are acting badly while they are the best of all. In other words, all this video footage that is made and, incidentally, it is made for big money and what’s more, money for this purpose is given by private sponsors rather than collected from ordinary people, all this is aimed at achieving quite a concrete political result," Medvedev said, commenting on a documentary posted in the Internet and claiming that the premier had several real estate properties.

As the Russian premier said, any nonsense was collected about him, about his acquaintances and about people he had never heard about.

It is difficult for a person who watches all this stuff to sort things out, Medvedev said.

Regrettably, some oppositionists are calling on youths through social networks to join protests. And these youths take to the streets with certain slogans but, unfortunately, in violation of law as opposition activists actually set them off against law enforcers and, consequently, young people eventually suffer from this, the Russian premier said.

"This is a dishonest position and is simply a method to achieve one’s selfish goals. I can’t characterize this otherwise," Medvedev said.

According to the Russian premier, the political goals of the authors of such materials are fully obvious.

"That person you are speaking about [opposition activist Alexei Navalny] says openly: ‘All of them are bad persons. Elect me the president! And he brings people to the streets without any constraint and, what’s more, frequently underage persons which, to my mind, is actually a crime," the Russian premier said.

"Moreover, this personage is a convicted person and there must be no illusions in this regard," Medvedev said.

'I continue working and doing my job'

The prime minister also said he was calm about information attacks on him personally.

"As for my personal attitude, I generally have strong nerves. Otherwise, I would have been unable to work in the posts I had held - as the president and in the government," Medvedev said.

"If I had responded each time to such [information] attacks, to such provocations, I simply would have had no time for normal work," the Russian premier said.

"In this sense, my position is completely simple: I continue working and doing my job and this is my responsibility before citizens of the Russian Federation," Medvedev said.

The Russian premier said he had developed certain immunity over the years of his work.

"It is almost unreal to survive in your work without such immunity. Provocations, however, are the simplest thing that can be done," the premier said.