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Medvedev: Russia far behind industrialized states as information society

MOSCOW. Feb 12 (Interfax) - President Dmitry Medvedev is extremely dissatisfied with the current level of information society in Russia.

"In the past few years information technology and services have evolved into a significant segment of our civilian non-commodities exports, reaching a level of around $1 billion. But we remain frighteningly far behind the industrialized states in the key parameters reflecting the maturity of an information society. All this does not suit us," Medvedev told the Council for the Development of Information Society at its first meeting in the Kremlin on Thursday.

Russia ranks not even 20th-30th, but 70th-80th in international ratings in terms of the maturity of its information and communications technologies," he said. "I myself was much surprised to see these ratings," the president said.

"However paradoxical, this lagging behind the leading nations is not decreasing, but, on the contrary, is increasing, despite the country's economic development and improvement in the citizens' living standards, Medvedev said.

"We are in an 'honorable' 72nd place" in the rating of countries' readiness to live in the digital world, being developed by the World Economic Forum," the president said.

Meanwhile, no progress or modernization of public life is possible without information technology, he said. "This involves not only the scientific and technological sphere, but also matters of governance and even deeper democracy in the country," Medvedev said.