Medvedev warns Russian elite against complacency
President Dmitry Medvedev on Friday warned the Russian elite against complacency, saying those who preferred stability to progress would be better off spending time at an upmarket French ski resort.
In his traditional end-of-year interview with state television, Medvedev also said the ruling United Russia party of powerful Prime Minister Vladimir Putin should "not just reign" and crack down on corruption.
"In this period we have achieved a lot. We have stabilised the situation in the country," he said, apparently referring to the last decade where Russia under Putin emerged from the chaos of the late 1990s.
"We have taken a under control very difficult, destructive social processes which could have torn our state part."
"But you cannot just develop on stability. There needs to be drive," he said using the English word "drive".
"Drive is a desire to do something. So if anyone thinks everything is fine then they should stay in Courchevel," he said, referring to the upscale French Alps ski resort much favoured by well-monied Russians.
Taking aimed at United Russia which dominates the lower house of parliament, Medvedev said the party "should not just reign" but also show "intelligence, tact and force".
He said that any party officials who are "corrupt and those who just do not want to work should be pushed aside and punished."
Medvedev has embarked on an ambitious plan to modernise the country and end corruption. But over halfway into his mandate analysts question the extent of progress and wonder if Putin may replace him in 2012 presidential polls.
© 2010 AFP