MOSCOW, April 18 (RIA Novosti)
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Outgoing President Dmitry Medvedev has praised the rapid development of the internet in Russia and called on web users to engage more in policy-making.
"The possibilities of the Internet, social networks and blogosphere should be used to make the authorities more open and transparent," Medvedev said in a video blog posting on Wednesday.
He said hoping for state bureaucrats to "make Russia better" would mean "gratifying [their] abuse of authority."
Medvedev has pushed his image as a tech-savvy modernizer during his four years in office, and has frequently spoken of his "fondness" of the Internet.
He said Russia's Internet segment - known as Runet - has a monthly audience of nearly 58 million people aged 18 or older.
"The country needs you active people," Medvedev said.
Internet penetration in Russia has doubled over the last six years, according to a survey carried out by the state-run pollster VTsIOM.
About 58 percent of Russia's 143 million population is online, the pollster said.
Runet has been largely free of the kind of state controls exerted over television and much of the print media, and provides a vital outlet for opposition and human rights movements.
Medvedev, who steps down in May, said the government was carrying out more of its work online, and called on regional authorities to make more use of the Internet to solve "thorny issues."
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