Europe

Russia election: Medvedev and Putin reveal music tastes

Vladimir Putin (left) and Dmitry Medvedev meet women's representatives near Moscow, 25 November Image copyright AFP
Image caption Vladimir Putin (left) and Dmitry Medvedev met women's representatives

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has told a women's forum he recommends listening to world music, "even when you are working".

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, the man expected to replace him at next year's presidential election, said that, as a Russian, he loved Russian music.

They were speaking as the date for the election was formally set for 4 March.

Mr Putin, a former president, is expected to win easily but opinion polls suggest he is losing support.

Two opinion polls published on Friday indicated his party, United Russia, would lose its two-thirds majority in the lower house of parliament, the State Duma, at the parliamentary election on 4 December.

United Russia currently has 315 of the Duma's 450 seats but the surveys by Levada and Vtsiom suggest this will fall to between 253 and 262.

The chief beneficiaries would be the Communist Party and Vladimir Zhirinovsky's far-right Liberal Democrats.

'Calms the nerves'

Meeting women's representatives at the Gorki presidential residence near Moscow, Mr Medvedev said that as a schoolboy he had mainly listened to "rock music and hard rock".

"Then, to my surprise, I discovered world music, which at first seemed very peculiar to me," he said.

"Now I like to listen to music from different places and in all kinds of situations. Even when you are working, some world music can calm the nerves."

Mr Putin, long known for his macho image and appeal to Russian nationalists, said: "I am a Russian and I love Russian music."

Neither of the Russian leaders gave details of their favourite music.

Mr Putin, who has sung the old American pop sing Blueberry Hill for charity, appeared to snub one of Russia's best-known rock musicians, Yury Shevchuk, at a round-table discussion last year.

When Shevchuk raised politics at the meeting, Mr Putin replied by saying: "Excuse me, what is your name?"

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