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Dimitri Medvedev’s effort to court youth into politics continues on Thursday when he meets with young members of United Russia. According to Kommersant, the meeting will be attended by party leaders Mintemer Shaimiev and Yuri Luzhkov, General Council secretary Vyacheslav Volodin and young United Russia representatives from the provinces.
The meeting appears to have been thrown together at the spur of the moment, right before Medvedev’s comments on youth policy last week. Little has been said about the actual content of the meeting. According to Alexander Tretyakov, the head of the Perm’s United Russia office, “the delegation has been formed, but still not the full information about the event.” Aleksei Volotskov, a member of Volgograd’s youth council and UR member, said that he only got a request to submit his information for a background check two weeks ago.
As to what the President’s urgency to meet with young URs might be, Vlacheslav Burkov, United Russia member and speaker in Perm’s youth parliament, thinks that it could be about drawing up names for a national parliament for youth under 30. It is the “Year of Youth” as Medvedev’s press secretary told the business daily. Yet, according to Kommersant‘s sources, United Russia has yet to form a plan to addressing young members most pressing concern: forming a cadre of young political reserves. This isn’t expected to happen until the end of the year.
Nevertheless, it seems that Medvedev is taking the appropriate steps to draw fresh blood into the political establishment. As political commentator Dmitri Badivskii told Kommersant, “Medvedev may propose his idea of using the cadre of reserves especially at the municipal level and also propose party candidacy for governor appointments.” Maybe the President’s personal anointing of young people into municipal positions will begin breaking the stranglehold of local elder bureaucrats. Let’s hope so.