Moscow, April 19 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Outgoing Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has praised the rapid development of the internet in the country, 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 Wednesday.
Medvedev has pushed his image as a tech-savvy moderniser 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”.