MOSCOW, April 18 (RIA Novosti)
- Putin Ponders Corruption, Internet Democracy in New Article
- Russia to become Europe's largest Internet market soon - minister
- Number of Russian Internet users doubles in two years
- Internet regulation no threat to freedom of expression - Moscow
- Putin against imposing internet restrictions
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."
Add to blog
You may place this material on your blog by copying the link.
Image Galleries: Removing Protesters’ Barricades in Kiev
Infographics: First Russian Smartphone
Russia has become very adept in playing the diplomatic game, in which victory depends on choosing the right associate or partner. But there are a growing number of claimants to this role in the new horizontal and interdependent world. Aside Syria and Iran, being still important, the new venues for the application of practical diplomacy may well be Ukraine, the East China Sea and Afghanistan.