Medvedev skips first presidential debate

Feb. 5, 2008 at 12:35 PM
1 of 2
| License Photo

MOSCOW, Feb. 5 (UPI) -- A televised presidential debate marked the beginning of the campaign season in Russia, but the presumptive next president did not attend, a report said.

The Kremlin-backed Dmitry Medvedev, who boasts a 70 percent approval rating in some surveys, chaired a presidential council meeting on social projects Monday while the other presidential candidates held a nationally televised debate, The Moscow Times said Tuesday.

Democratic Party candidate Andrei Bogdanov said Russia can "teach Europe how to behave with the Muslim world," while nationalist candidate Vladimir Zhirinovsky called EU member states "rivals" of Russia.

Gennady Zyuganov, leader of the Russian Communist Party, called for closer ties with former Soviet satellites Belarus and Ukraine.

None of the rival candidates is expected to mount a significant challenge to Medvedev, the Times said.

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
North Korea officials defecting in fear of rising executions
North Korea: Airport terminal is 'new face' of country
Pilot in Taiwan plane crash shut down wrong engine, black boxes show
Compact cannon for British armored vehicles
Texas police body cam video shows fatal shooting