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.

Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Trending Stories
TSU shooting: 1 dead, 1 wounded in third shooting this week at Houston campus
Listeria threat prompts Whole Foods cheese recall
Russia says missiles aimed at Syria did not land in Iran
Captive orca breeding banned at California's SeaWorld
Wrong drug used in Oklahoma execution