Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Saturday that offering key posts in the government and companies to the ruling United Russia party supporters is normal practice.
“It was impossible in the past to build your career without being a [Communist] party member. Today people make careers without joining the United Russia party,” Medvedev said. “But on the other hand, we should honestly and openly say that if our party holds power, we will hire people who support our ideals and not our opponents, to the government and management of major companies.”
A political party would look ridiculous if it cooperated with its opponents, he added.
“But this does not mean that we will not cooperate with those who offer constructive ideas but are not members of the United Russia,” the premier said.
He also said he approves the party’s members and loyalists sponsoring different United Russia projects, including youth projects.
“I think the party is a public organization, not a state structure, therefore, such donations are one of the best ways of financing major and minor projects,” Medvedev said.
He said these donations should be transparent, adding that he does not call for the return of pay dues that existed in the Soviet Union.
The premier urged the United Russia members not to be ashamed of their belonging to the ruling party.
“The task of our party is to hold power and to convince people that our program is better [than the program of the opposition]. We have achievements and we should talk about them,” he said.
Medvedev was elected United Russia leader at the party congress on May 26. It is the first time in Russia’s recent history that the leader of a party has held the post of head of the government.