Medvedev’s elections in Lithuania
The Medvedev’s election, rather than the Presidential election culminated in the Medvedev’s landmark victory.
Some Lithuanians calling to review our relationship with Russia and hence the elections gives a fresh start for it. The other papers called to suspend Russia from the European Council since there is no difference between Russia and Belarus any longer. The thers hoped that the west will not make the same mistake as they did with Putin, Medvedev is not a Liberal, and there is not need to play with him.
The Concervative leader made an interesting observation. Mr Kubilius noticed that it would be interesting to find out what Gazprom is preparing for Lithuania since our country is sandwiched between the two countries one of which leader started to work for Gazprom a and another became a president after serving for Gazprom.
Mr Kubilius observed “As the new Russian president steps in we should prepare for a rocking strategy of a gentle approach which will be more difficult to recognize than rough methods. We can only guess how much of such strategy we have already been subject to”.
However the Lithuanian Parliamentary Vice-Speaker Vydas Gedvilas from the opposition Labour party said that. “Medvedev is a young politician without the Soviet stamp, he is not linked with special services, furthermore, his first statements indicate his eagerness to maintain good relations with Russian neighbors. It would be naive to expect some major changes from Medvedev, however, Putin’s rule was rather radical in some cases and political scientists forecast that Medvedev’s line would be smoother, which gives hope for discussion”.
As the BNS reported the Lithuanian PM Gediminas Kirkilas notes that the Russian presidential elections were not completely democratic and did not fully correspond to Western standards.
“I will name just one aspect. All of his opponents named it as well. Whether, for example, all four candidates were provided with the same time slot, the same possibilities to advertise on television or radio”, Kirkilas told Lithuanian National radio.
However, the prime minister remarked, Lithuania hopes that constructive bipartite relations with Russia will be maintained just as they had been up to this day.
“Especially because the new president declares the continuity of President (Vladimir – BNS) Putin’s political course. Therefore, I would think that in this aspect, there should be no considerable changes”, the prime minister said, adding that Lithuania would enjoy more extensive, better and more open relations with Russia.
Kirkilas expressed his opinion that the entire European Union (EU) would enjoy better relations with Russia, and predicted that the negations, which failed last year over the strategic EU-Russia agreement, should see a new light of day this year.
The Lithuanians made an effort to accommodate the Russians in Lithuania.
A total of 1825 Russian citizens out of over 15,000 countrymen living in Lithuania and possessing the right to vote participated in the elections. Some 1406 of those who participated cast their votes for Medvedev. The Russian embassy confirmed that more than 80 percent gave their vote for Mr Medvedev.
The Lithuanians really walked an extra mile. Voting for Russia’s Head-of-State was warranted in the Russian embassy in Vilnius and the Consul-General’s office in Lithuanian port city Klaipeda as well other cities densely populated with Russian citizens – Kaunas, Siauliai and Visaginas, however actual voting took place only in Vilnius, Klaipeda and Visaginas, as the embassy lacked capacities to organize voting in all of the locations proposed by Lithuania. Russian citizens who wished to cast their votes were taken to polling districts by special buses.
What it is to be said about elections. Well, there is a saying about a special Russian sole. I would say that in order to ‘decipher’ the Russian sole, one should consult children psychologist. The Russians never managed to grow out of their serfdom mentality, and would not know what to do with their freedom. They need guidance, a strong hand, like obedient children.