Transcript: George Stephanopoulos Interviews Russian President Dmitry Medvedev

MEDVEDEV: Basically I did answer it already. But I will be happy to give you another answer, but it's totally trivial, but also very true. The decision is taken by the person who is designated to do it by law. If you consider the questions of foreign and domestic politics, the defense, the security. This is only the President. And nobody else. I maybe would be glad to share it with someone else., especially in very dramatic periods. Like August 2008, when the well known conflict in the caucusus took place. But I cannot state that that decision was not taken by me, or I bear the responsibility for that with other colleagues like Putin or others. I do hold personally the responsibility for that. And I'm not ashamed of that decision. But I would say the most important and most complicated decisions I have to take myself. So we have the government which has its own competence. America doesn't have a government. The government itself generates the laws. The government is busy with economics and this is a lot of work, I used to work in the government for many years. I was the first deputy of the prime minister. This is huge work, huge complicated and not related to the presidential authority. That's the second dimension of our relationship. But I believe within the recent years, we've been able to develop a system that works fine. And I would tell you even more, in my opinion it does work better than in the previous period because we did have a government which was a more technical institution than it should have been. But when the government was headed by such an experienced politician as Putin, a person of huge authority in the country, the government became much more active and its action became much more substantial, especially in times of crisis. Because during crisis people are more concerned. They aren't happy with what's going on and frequently and justly, they blame sometimes the government. And in the case when the authorities are not up to the task, like in certain countries, then it's bad. But if the government keeps its authority and pays attention to the relationship with the people, and takes balanced decisions, then it's good for the country.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You-- you faced one of these crises recently. The state of-- of bombings, the terrorisms here in Moscow. And one especially hit home in the United States. The suicide bombing in the Moscow subway. I was in New York that day. All the New York subways on high alert. And-- and this picture on the front page of-- papers all across the United States. How did this happen? And what do you do about it?

MEDVEDEV: This is a very tragic story, if we talk about the person on the picture.

STEPHANOPOULOS: A suicide bomber.

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