26 Jan 2011 19:18

Medvedev arrives in Switzerland to attend World Economic Forum

ZURICH, Switzerland. Jan 26 (Interfax) - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev arrived in Switzerland to take part in the World Economic Forum in Davos, which opens on Wednesday evening.

This year Russia is the forum's main guest. The Davos event will be the first World Economic Forum to be attended by a Russian president.

Medvedev has had to cut his Davos forum program participation into two events because of Monday's deadly bombing at Moscow's Domodedovo airport, presidential spokeswoman Natalya Timakova said.

Under the initial plan, Medvedev was to spend two days at the forum, attending the forum's session on Thursday on Russia's modernization. However, he is expected to leave for Moscow on Wednesday night, Timakova said.

Medvedev will leave the forum after having a closed-door meeting with members of the International Business Council, which represents major companies, and speaking at the forum's opening ceremony.

Medvedev's meeting with International Business Council members would involve "a frank discussion about how the development of Russia and that of the world economy is seen and about how Russia would integrate with the global economy," presidential aide Arkady Dvorkovich said earlier.

"The main signal that Dmitry Medvedev will give in the course of that meeting is that Russia is open for investments and for foreign business," Dvorkovich said.

Afterward Medvedev will make a 20-minute speech at the forum's opening ceremony. Dvorkovich said earlier that Medvedev would also be asked several of the questions that have been collected on the forum's website.

As of Tuesday evening, most of the questions focused on the recent trial of former Russian oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, on Medvedev's relationship with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, and on the corruption problem in Russia.

Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov will chair the other events of the forum at which Medvedev was initially planned to preside.