Russia intends to actively participate in conducting democratic reforms in the Palestinian National Authority, said the Russian foreign ministry's official spokesman Alexander Yakovenko in an interview with RIA Novosti he gave on Monday in connection with the meeting of the four international Middle East mediators due in New York on Tuesday.
It concerned "working out a specific schedule for assisting the PNA in introducing radical democratic changes," the diplomat pointed out. He recalled that members of the "four" as well as the PNA donors had done a lot of preparatory work to define the cooperation spheres where the world community could assist in promoting reforms. "Now possibilities of involving Russian ministries and departments in these efforts are being discussed," he added.
"The reforms should accomplish a triune task," Yakovenko believes. They are strengthening the security, restoring the social and economic infrastructure, and creating an institutional basis for the Palestinian state system. "Reforms should be not a preliminary requirement, but an accompanying and assisting factor on the way to the settlement and creation of a Palestinian state," he stressed.
Presidential candidate Ksenia Sobchak, who was accredited for the press conference by Vladimir Putin from Dozhd (Rain) television channel, asked Putin about competition at the coming election
On December 14, President Putin holds his annual Q&A session with Russian and foreign journalists. This conference is considered to be the beginning of his presidential campaign