Medvedev talks music with rockers over beer

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In a new bid to convince Russians of his hip credentials, President Dmitry Medvedev met with Kremlin-friendly veteran rockers for a laid-back chat over beer, state media said.

Russian television on Tuesday showed Medvedev meeting some of Russia's best-loved rockers including Boris Grebenshikov, Andrei Makarevich and Alexei Kortnev at a club in central Moscow.

"I met with our musicians yesterday," Medvedev said on his official Twitter page.

But the meeting with the musicians, who asked Medvedev soft questions, stood in conspicuous contrast with a similar meeting earlier this year which saw Medvedev's powerful mentor, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, arguing with singer and Kremlin critic Yury Shevchuk.

Shevchuk did not attend the meeting with Medvedev on Monday night, a Kremlin spokesman said on condition of anonymity.

"We did not invite him," the spokesman said.

Medvedev, who has confessed his love for classic rock bands Pink Floyd and Deep Purple, is keen to reach out young, educated Russians as the country is heading for presidential elections in 2012.

Both he and Putin have not ruled out standing in the poll.

In August, the Kremlin chief met rock star Bono, even though the U2 frontman had earlier jokingly suggested that would cancel the meeting with Medvedev because of his musical tastes.

© 2010 AFP

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