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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 others interests, Medvedev said in a plainly worded note sent to Obama and posted on the Kremlins 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, Arizonas 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 Obamas 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 Cabinets economic bloc welcomed Obamas 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.

Obamas 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 countrys stock markets since this summer.

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