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Medvedev Tells Ambassadors to Seek Investment

President Medvedev met Monday with the nation's ambassadors. He urged them to focus on economic development, not ideology. Sergey Ponomarev

President Dmitry Medvedev on Monday told the country's ambassadors that his foreign policy will be guided by economic principles aimed at promoting "citizens' prosperity in every way possible" and not be burdened by ideology.

"We need special alliances for modernization … first of all with Germany, France, Italy, the EU in general, and with the United States," Medvedev told a meeting of ambassadors gathered in the Foreign Ministry.

In thinly veiled criticism, Medvedev called on diplomats to improve the quality of their work and stop confrontational policies.

"The role of Russia's foreign mission must not be limited to the banal race of sending the most and longest reports to the center," Medvedev said, according to a Kremlin transcript.

He said current developments demand flexible and proactive decision-making and an effort to avoid confrontations.

Modern diplomats, he said, should "live and act online and should not try to catch a departed train or look around in search of scapegoats."

Instead, he asked the diplomats to keep as many contacts as possible and to stimulate new investment.

"The world's dividing lines are not ideological but about economic development. We must be on par with the leading players," Medvedev wrote on his Twitter account after the meeting with the ambassadors.

On Twitter, he also maintained that the recent spy scandal should not hurt ties with the United States. Both countries must understand that "the basis of national security lies not in arms or spy games but in sustainable domestic development," he wrote.

Medvedev last month visited California's Silicon Valley to drum up investors for his plans to build a similar high-tech park in Skolkovo, outside Moscow.

The trip to the United States, Medvedev said in his speech, showed that cooperation on innovation could create a positive agenda. "This need not stop at reducing missiles and saber rattling over regional conflicts."

The president praised the overall efforts of resetting relations with Washington. The results show that "you can radically change things in a relatively short period," he said.

Among the reset's most visible results has been the signing of the New START arms reduction treaty and the shelving of plans to bring Georgia and Ukraine into NATO soon. ? 

But in a sign that he is not offering major concessions, Medvedev made it clear that Moscow opposed Washington's continuing plans to build an anti-missile shield. "We are against any unilateral moves regarding missile defense and against putting arms in space," he said.

Medvedev also promoted his plans for a new European security treaty and said he hoped that NATO would soon complete its transformation into "a modern security organization."

Medvedev has recently stepped up a campaign to improve the country's image abroad and to attract badly needed foreign investment. In May, a leaked Foreign Ministry document argued that Moscow should exploit the effects of the crisis to assert economic dominance over its neighbors.

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