Medvedev to make lightening Davos visit after attack

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President Dmitry Medvedev was to address global investors at the World Economic Forum Wednesday but his Davos programme has been drastically cut by the Moscow suicide bombing that killed 35 people.

Medvedev confirmed in a newspaper interview he would be heading to Davos despite the attack on Moscow Domodedovo airport, with Kremlin officials indicating the speech was slated for the evening.

He had initially been scheduled to fly to Switzerland on Tuesday. There, he had been expected to lead the country's pitch to investors and speak on a number of topics including Russia's plans to build world-class ski resorts in its troubled North Caucasus region.

"In connection with the tragedy the programme of my visit to Davos has been considerably cut," Medvedev said in an interview with business daily Vedomosti published on Wednesday.

"I've made a decision to participate in the forum because it is a very important global venue to present our position," he added.

"Our task is to promote Russia's opportunities," he said. "We are indeed seeking investments, we want quick recovering growth after the crisis."

Under the current plan, Medvedev will spend just several hours in Davos meeting businessmen and making the opening speech at the forum before returning to Moscow Wednesday evening, officials said.

Investigators have linked the attack -- Moscow's second in less than a year -- to militants from Russia's predominantly Muslim North Caucasus region.

The Kremlin has long said that the unrest in the North Caucasus is Russia's single most serious problem and Medvedev reiterated after the attack that terrorism remained the main security threat to Russia.

© 2011 AFP

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