(Stavropol, Russia) Down on the farm is where the Russian president and prime minister spent their day. For our European and Asian readers, down on the farm is an American idiom. Ask about a farmer and whether he’s working, you’ll often get that expression as the answer. It is also the title of a country music folksong by singer Tim McGraw but we sort of doubt that either Dmitry Medvedev or Vladimir Putin are all that much into American country music.
In August they went fishing and came home with a big announcement. Today the two men went down on the farm and so far while there have been no big announcements, it did seem that while in the Stavropol region the two managed to combine working meetings at a Rodina farm (Russian collective farm), met with local United Russia party officials, and took part in a fairly comprehensive tour of the very modern Stavropol Regional Vascular Medicine Centre.
Although smiling, Rodina farm director Viktor Orlov most certainly got in his workout today and will sleep very soundly tonight. The most important aspect of this trip was to see Medvedev and Putin working together. The two had experienced a fair amount of tension, particularly in the past 18 months leading up to the announcement of who would run for president in 2012.
Stavropol’s Vascular Centre treats patients from around the country. While there President Medvedev saw a model of the future Clinical Perinatal Centre to be built next door and looked over operations for the Republican Children’s Hospital. The Perinatal Centre will be completed by the beginning of 2014.
While at the farm, President Medvedev and Prime Minister Putin each got a turn at harvesting corn while learning about the farm’s operation.