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Telegram For Obama, No Mention In Speech

Published: November 7, 2008 (Issue # 1423)


MOSCOW — President Dmitry Medvedev appeared in no hurry Wednesday to congratulate Barack Obama on his victory in the U.S. presidential election, sending the senator a telegram after eschewing an opportunity to acknowledge the win in his state-of-the-nation address.

“I hope for a constructive dialogue with you, based on trust and consideration of each other’s interests,” Medvedev said in a plainly worded note sent to Obama and posted on the Kremlin’s web site late Wednesday afternoon.

Despite several references to the new U.S. administration, Medvedev refrained from mentioning Obama in his speech at 12 p.m. — long after it was clear that the Illinois Democrat had won.

The apparent hesitance came despite the fact that Medvedev has said he would prefer that Obama, 47, become the next U.S. president instead of his rival, Arizona’s Republican Senator John McCain, 72.

“It would be easier to work with people with a modern outlook, rather than those whose eyes are turned back to the past,” Medvedev said in February, before he was elected president himself.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Wednesday refrained altogether from commenting on Obama’s victory.

Other top Russian officials and politicians were cautious in their predictions of how an Obama administration would affect U.S.-Russian relations, with many predicting changes to U.S. foreign policy but no consensus on their direction or depth.

Still, officials in the Cabinet’s economic bloc welcomed Obama’s win, saying his presidency would be better for the global economy than that of his predecessor, George W. Bush.

“The U.S. elections will have a positive effect on the global economy because of the new expectations,” Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin told reporters Wednesday.

“Now these expectations are tied to absolutely new principles in politics, which will be directed toward stabilizing the global financial system,” Kudrin said.

Obama’s team of economists will reconsider and refresh the bailout measures being implemented by the Bush administration, he said.

Both Medvedev and Putin have repeatedly blamed the United States for the financial crisis, which has knocked about two-thirds of the value from the country’s stock markets since this summer.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Thursday, Jan. 29



Attend a master class on how to deal with complicated business negotiations today at the International Banking Institute, 6 Malaya Sadovaya Ulitsa. Running from 3 to 6 p.m., Vadim Sokolov, an assistant professor at the St. Petersburg State University of Economics, will introduce aspects of managing the negotiation process and increasing its effectiveness. Attendance is free with pre-registration by telephone on 909 3056 or online at www.ibispb.ru



Celebrate what would be writer Anton Chekhov's 155th birthday at the Bokvoed bookshop at 46 Nevsky Prospekt. Starting at 5 p.m., the legendary author will be feted with readings of his stories and short performances based on his plays by various St. Petersburg actors. Chekhov's books will also be offered at a 15% discount during the event.



Friday, Jan. 30



The Lermontov Central Library, 19 Liteyny Prospekt, will screen 'Almost Famous’ in English with Russian subtitles at 6:30 p.m. Cameron Crowe's Academy Award-winning comedy from 2000 stars Billy Crudup, Kate Hudson, and Patrick Fugit, and tells the story of a budding music journalist at Rolling Stone magazine in the 1970s. Admission is free.



Meet renowned Russian poet, journalist and writer Dmitry Bykov, famous for his biographies of Boris Pasternak, Bulat Okudzhava and Maxim Gorky, and winner of 2006 National Bestseller Award. Bykov will read old and new poems as well as answer questions about his works at the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Main Hall, at 7 p.m. Tickets start at 1,000 rubles and are available at city ticket offices and the from the Philharmonic website www.philharmonia.spb.ru.



A retrospective of the films of Roman Polanski starts today at Loft-Project Etagi, 74 Ligovsky Prospekt, with a screening of ‘Repulsion’ at 7 p.m. and ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ at 9:15 p.m. The series runs through Feb. 4 and will include Polanski's eminently creepy ‘The Tenant,’ the cult comedy ‘The Fearless Vampire Killers’ and ‘Cul-de-sac’ among others. Tickets are 150-200 rubles and the complete schedule is available at www.vk.com/artpokaz/



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