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Putin says policy on CIS to remain unchanged under Medvedev

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President Vladimir Putin said Friday that Russia's foreign policy in the Commonwealth of Independent States would remain unchanged if Dmitry Medvedev wins the presidential election on March 2.
MOSCOW, February 22 (RIA Novosti) - President Vladimir Putin said Friday that Russia's foreign policy in the Commonwealth of Independent States would remain unchanged if Dmitry Medvedev wins the presidential election on March 2.

"I do not think we will have any revolutionary changes, because Dmitry Anatolyevich [Medvedev] is one of the authors of Russian policy in this sphere," Putin told an informal summit in Moscow of leaders from the CIS, a loose coalition of former Soviet republics.

First Deputy Prime Minister Medvedev confirmed that the CIS would remain a priority of Russia's foreign policy.

Addressing the leaders, Putin proposed adopting a development program for the CIS for the next 12 years. "We should work out an innovation and new economic strategy up to 2020," he said.

The Russian leader also thanked CIS leaders for their cooperation during his eight years as president, and gave a strong endorsement for his likely successor, Medvedev.

"I have known Dmitry Medvedev for a very long time, we've been working together for over 17 years. ... When he worked as chief of presidential staff, he was one of the most intimate members of my team, and together we worked out all key decisions, including on the CIS," he said.

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