Ryan Chilcote: That puts them in a difficult position because they want to make money, on the one hand, but they don't want to go against their government's wishes, on the other.
Dmitry Medvedev: Exactly. So, this is bringing ideology to market relations and the economy, which is exactly what the Soviet Union did in the past, when it adopted bans on trade with particular countries because [their ideology] didn't suit the government. This is exactly what the US administration is doing now. This is a path to a dead end. It is destroying international economic ties and will affect the interests of US and European business.
There is one more thing I'd like to say, since you keep talking about sanctions... I'd like to remind you that no sanctions were introduced against MPs even in the most difficult periods of US-Soviet relations, like during the Cuban missile crisis or when the decision to deploy troops in Afghanistan was taken. We maintained contacts at the top political level. By enacting such sanctions, our US and European partners are destroying the very fabric of international relations. Are they trying to scare us? This will lead nowhere. Once a new administration comes to power in the United States and a new president takes office after Obama, these sanctions will be forgotten. In the end, nobody stands to win.
On the Internet and whether he agrees with President Putin that the internet is a CIA project:
Dmitry Medvedev: My answer is yes and no. It is true that the Internet was born within defence-related structures. As far as I know, it was DARPA, not the CIA. What this means is that, at the outset, this network served a defence purpose. But afterwards, it grew into what is called the World Wide Web, serving as a universal phenomenon, bringing together huge numbers of people. I have never made an ideal out of the Internet, but I do believe that there is no other thing in the world with such a great unifying potential, since it creates communication opportunities, and it should be properly appreciated.
Ryan Chilcote: You say that it has to be valued, but can you guarantee that Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, will be working in Russia in a year's time? Because, as you are well aware, a Russian official not too long ago said that they may have to be closed.
Dmitry Medvedev: This was just a poor choice of words by an executive from an oversight department. Perhaps, he should have considered his words more carefully before speaking. The issue is fairly simple: everyone who works in the Russian segment of the Internet must comply with Russian regulations.
Again, it's part of the worldwide history of communications. Millions of Russians use social media. I use it as well, I believe that it's a good and useful thing; therefore, on the one hand, there must be compliance with Russian laws, but on the other hand, there should be freedom of access to information that is not at odds with the law.
On VKontakte and Pavel Durov - the Zuckerberg, many say, of Russia - leaving the country:
Dmitry Medvedev: It's difficult for me to discuss Mr Durov's motives. I've met him only once, in this very room, where we discussed development prospects. He is very talented, but like every talented person he has many illusions. As far as I know, he had an argument with the company's shareholders and his business partners and, as a result, sold his shares. As it often happens, he cited political circumstances to explain his actions and started another project. It was his decision, but VKontakte will continue to exist. It is a completely open platform.