Medvedev Touts Russia in France

President Dmitry Medvedev sought to soothe investors Thursday that Russia's long-term prospects remained solid.

Medvedev reiterated government forecasts that Russia's economy would expand by about 7 percent this year, attributing the growth to domestic demand.

"Clearly enough, next year will be more difficult for all of us, for our country, and the pace of growth will by all accounts slow down," Medvedev told a gathering of industry leaders in Cannes, France, ahead of a EU-Russia summit in nearby Nice on Friday. "The inflation situation is also serious. We will deal with all of these issues of course."

French President Nicolas Sarkozy, meanwhile, assured Georgia that he would press for closer links between it and the EU despite steps by the bloc to resume talks on a partnership with Russia.

(MT, AP, Reuters)