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Russian president gives annual address to nation


20:30, December 22, 2011

MOSCOW, Dec. 22 (Xinhua) -- Russian President Dmitry Medvedev started making a state-of-the-nation address to the Federal Assembly made up of both houses of parliament on Thursday.

This is the final annual address to the nation Medvedev gives in the capacity of the head of state.

In his one-hour-long speech, Medvedev said Russia needs democracy, not chaos, and that the country will not allow foreign interference in its internal affairs.

"Attempts to manipulate Russian citizens are unacceptable. We will not allow provocateurs and extremists to pull the society into adventurism and will not accept outside interference," he said.

He added that the rallies followed the December 4 parliamentary elections have proven the development of Russia's democracy.

"People are changing and becoming more proactive in expressing their positions and making new demands to the authorities. This is a good sign, which means our democracy is becoming more mature," he said.

For the political system of Russia, the President proposed a "comprehensive" reform, including direct elections of regional governors, easing registration rules for political parties and introduction of new ways to fight against corruption.

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