|24 December 2009
On December 24 President Dmitri Medvedev during an interview with the heads of Russia.s three state television channels was asked a question about political opposition: "What place in the political life of Russia do you see for representatives of the extrasystemic opposition, for such people as [former Prime Minister Mikhail] Kasyanov and [former world chess champion Garry] Kasparov?".
"You know, the so-called extrasystemic opposition, it is extrasystemic because it does not see itself inside the political system. They chose such a place for themselves. It.s their right,. the president responded. "I treat them with respect, if by doing so our legislature is not violated - electoral [legislation], legislation about social unions, about rallies and so on… They too, probably, reflect somebody.s preferences; it.s true that I sometimes have a hard time saying whose."
In his response to this comment Mikhail Kasyanov said that "Medvedev and Putin are to blame for the fact that today in Russia no electoral institution exists from which they and all the rest of the citizens could learn what number of people share the value of a democratic state and wish to live in a free, civilized country." Concerning Medvedev.s thesis that he and Kasparov "chose themselves" to exist outside of the political system, Kasyanov stressed that "there is no place for free people in the political system intentionally created by Putin and Medvedev."
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