Romanov Heir Congratulates Medvedev

The self-declared heir to Russia's imperial throne has congratulated Dmitry Medvedev on his election win and urged the future Kremlin leader to fulfill Russia's destiny as a great world power.

Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna, the leading claimant to the Russian imperial throne, sent a congratulatory telegram to Medvedev on Thursday, said Alexander Zakatov, head of the chancellery of Russia's self-styled Imperial House.

"You take up the rule of the Russian state at an historical stage when it has overcome atheism and inhuman totalitarianism, then withstood the inevitable shocks after the collapse of the old system and way of living," the Grand Duchess wrote.

Russia, she said, had renewed confidence in its destiny as a truly great world power based on traditional values, public welfare, the protection of rights and freedoms, the defense of national interests and an active role in international affairs.

"May God shed on you the wisdom, strength and will to preserve, consolidate and multiply all the good that was achieved with the great nationwide effort over the past years," Maria Vladimirovna, who lives in Spain, told Medvedev.