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Medvedev: Soviet backstep 'nonsense'

Jan. 24, 2013 at 11:33 AM
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DAVOS, Switzerland, Jan. 24 (UPI) -- Suggestions that Russia is advocating policies reminiscent of the former Soviet Union are "complete nonsense," Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said.

Medvedev, speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, said efforts to advance a customs union with former Soviet republics didn't equate to an about-face on Kremlin policy.

"This is complete nonsense and there is no path back into the past," he was quoted by state-run news agency RIA Novosti as saying. "We have all (former Soviet republics) become different and are looking into the future and we have a clear-cut plan for strengthening cooperation on a mutually advantageous basis."

Russian Ambassador to NATO Alexander Grushko reacted angrily to statements by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last month. Clinton said following a human rights meeting in Ireland that Russian efforts to create a Eurasian trade block was tantamount to a move to "re-Sovietize" Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

Grushko said such sentiments were "absolutely incongruous" with Moscow's economic policies.

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