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Putin calls embattled doctor in show of support

In Uncategorized on December 18, 2010 at 9:56 am

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has called an embattled doctor who is under pressure after his complaints of “window-dressing” unleashed a torrent of criticism, his spokesman said on Saturday.


The powerful Russian prime minister called cardiologist Ivan Khrenov on his mobile phone late Friday in a show of support, his spokesman told AFP.


“So are they putting the squeeze on you?” the premier asked the doctor in remarks confirmed by his spokesman, Dmitry Peskov.


“Well, you do not worry, we will not leave you in the lurch. Call us if anything,” Putin told the doctor.


Khrenov, a young cardiologist from the central Russian town of Ivanovo, has become a reluctant national celebrity after he complained about “window dressing” at local hospitals during Putin’s recent visit.


He told Putin during a live call-in show this week that officials had told doctors to lie about their salaries. He also said medical equipment had been temporarily brought to a regional hospital from elsewhere.


Officials vehemently denied the accusations, with Ivanovo region governor Mikhail Men saying equipment like a CT scan could not have been removed from other hospitals simply because it is too big.


The General Prosecutor’s Office said on Friday the doctor’s report was being verified and local prosecutors said they planned to call in Khrenov for questioning.


Putin has expressed bewilderment at the report and said it had to be thoroughly checked.


Anecdotal evidence regularly emerges in Russia that local officials thoroughly prepare for Putin’s visits and often take it to extremes in order to please the top boss.


His marathon call-in show was seen as a reaffirmation of his status as the true Russian number one, even after handing the presidency to his protege Dmitry Medvedev in 2008.


Speculation is buzzing that he may be planning to return as head of state in 2012 elections.


 

Source: SGGP

Putin ‘sings songs’ with deported Russian spies

In Uncategorized on July 25, 2010 at 11:17 am

 Prime Minister Vladimir Putin revealed he met and even sang patriotic Soviet songs with the group of Russian spies deported from the United States in the biggest espionage swap since the Cold War.


Putin, who himself served as a KGB agent in the ex-East Germany in the dying years of the Soviet Union, said the group included Anna Chapman, the Russian woman whose glamorous looks turned her into a tabloid star worldwide.


“I met with them. We talked about life. We sang. It was not karaoke but live music,” Putin told Russian reporters on a visit to Ukraine, according to a transcript posted Sunday on the government website.


“We sang ‘From Where the Motherland Begins’,” a hugely popular 1960s song made famous in a USSR film about a Soviet spy working in Nazi Germany.


“I’m not joking, I am serious. And other songs with a similar content,” said Putin.

Russia’s Prime Minister Vladimir Putin rides Harley Davidson Lehman Trike decorated with Russian and Ukrainian national flags as he arrives for the meeting with motorbikers at their camp near Sevastopol in Ukraine’s Crimea on July 24, 2010

The group of 10 spies, many of whom had been working for years undercover in the United States as sleeper agents, returned to Russia earlier this month in a swap that saw Moscow send four Russian convicts to the West.


The 10 Kremlin agents had been arrested in an FBI swoop that initially threatened to derail a rapid improvement in Russia-US relations championed by President Dmitry Medvedev.


Putin hinted that the agents’ cover had been blown as a result of “treason” and that he knew the names of those responsible.


“This was the result of treason and traitors always end badly. They finish up as drunks, addicts, on the street,” said Putin.


Many ex-KGB spies have gone on the record slamming the shoddy and apparently antiquated spycraft of the 10, who were working for the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR).


But Putin indicated that the deported spooks would not be left without employment. “They will work, I am sure, they will work in worthy places. I do not doubt that they will have an interesting, bright life.”


He did not give further details on his encounter with Chapman, saying only that she had been present at the meeting. He did not say when or where the meeting had taken place.


Without talking specifically about the work of the deported spies, Putin praised the work of Russian agents, saying they “have a difficult life, every one of them.”


“You need to fulfil the task set in the interests of your motherland for many many years, not counting on diplomatic cover, exposing to danger yourself and your loved ones,” said Putin.

Source: SGGP

Siberia mine blast toll hits 43, Putin set to visit: reports

In Uncategorized on May 11, 2010 at 4:47 am

MOSCOW, May 11, 2010 (AFP) – Prime Minister Vladimir Putin Tuesday travelled to Siberia to meet victims of gas blasts in Russia’s biggest underground coal mine, as the death toll rose overnight to 43, reports said.


A spokesman for the emergency services ministry told Ria-Novosti news agency that the toll had shot up by 11.


“The toll has now risen to 43 and 47 others are missing,” he said.


Putin will visit the injured at a local hospital, Russian news agencies said, and then go to the Raspadskaya mine to inspect the rescue operation after Saturday’s twin blasts.


The missing men were trapped about 490 metres (1,600 feet) deep in the shafts, said Vladimir Goryachkin, the deputy general director of Raspadskaya’s owner, quoted by Russian agencies.

Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev (C) and Health and Social Development Minister Tatyana Golikova (2nd R) talk to medics in a hospital in Moscow on May 10, 2010 as they visit victims of the mine explosion. AFP photo

The mine has more than 400 kilometres (250 miles) of tunnels, a bigger network than the entire Moscow metro, he said. Television pictures showed that the surface infrastructure had been wrecked by the power of the blasts.


Putin on Monday ordered compensation of 32,900 dollars to be paid to the families of victims killed in the blast and smaller payments to those injured, the government said.


Raspadskaya is part-owned by steelmaker Evraz, a company 36 percent-owned by Chelsea Football Club’s billionaire chief Roman Abramovich. The governor of the Kemerovo region, Aman Tuleyev, insisted the mine would be rebuilt.

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Source: SGGP

Putin proposes merging Gazprom, Ukraine gas firm

In Uncategorized on May 3, 2010 at 8:38 am

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Friday stunned observers by proposing a merger between Russia’s Gazprom, the world’s largest gas firm, and Ukrainian state gas company Naftogaz.


The surprise plan infuriated the pro-Western opposition in Ukraine in an already tense domestic political situation and risks alarming the European Union, which has warily eyed Russia’s gas expansion ambitions.


“I have made a proposal… I propose merging Gazprom and Naftogaz,” Putin said following talks in the southern city of Sochi with Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov.


Putin’s announcement, broadcast on state television, is the latest move to cement ties between the two countries after Ukraine’s new pro-Kremlin President Viktor Yanukovych came to power earlier this year.


Yanukovych’s defeated rival in presidential elections, Yulia Tymoshenko, swiftly denounced the plan as part of a wider Russian scheme to steal Ukraine’s post-Soviet independence.


“This proposal to merge Gazprom and Naftogaz… could be taken as a joke, if every day an extensive plan to liquidate Ukraine’s independence wasn’t taking shape before our eyes,” she said in a statement.


Gazprom’s chief executive Alexei Miller said that negotiations on this issue would start immediately after national holidays in Russia due to be marked in the first two weeks of May.


“We are ready to examine the possibility of exchanging assets (of Gazprom and Naftogaz). In essence, this is a question of merging the two companies,” said Miller.


Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov insisted that the proposal was “more than serious and well thought out.”


“The proposal emphasises how far the Russian side is prepared to go on the road to integration with its Ukrainian partners,” he told the RIA Novosti news agency.


The deal came days 10 days after Ukraine agreed a landmark accord to keep Russia’s Black Sea Fleet based in Crimea at least until 2042 in exchange for a 30 percent discount on Russian gas exports to its neighbour.


Putin also said that export duties would be scrapped on all gas exports to Ukraine.


Naftogaz and Gazprom were at the centre of a gas dispute between Russia and Ukraine in January 2009, which led to gas supplies being turned off to several EU states in the midst of a bitterly cold winter.


A quarter of the gas consumed in the European Union comes from Russia, 80 percent of which passes through Ukraine.


The deal to extend the stay of the Black Sea Fleet has already provoked howls of protest from pro-Western Ukrainian politicians, who accused Yanukovych of selling out Ukraine’s sovereignty to Russia.


Deputies also staged an unprecedented protest in the Ukrainian parliament, throwing eggs at the speaker and letting off smoke bombs as the agreement was ratified.


Analysts have said Russia is moving quickly to secure its influence over Ukraine after the departure from power of ex-president Viktor Yushchenko whose pro-Western orientation infuriated Moscow.


“Russia’s objective is to take control of the Ukrainian pipelines and they will try to do this in any way,” said Viktor Chumak of the International Centre for Policy Studies in Kiev.


“This merger will allow them to seal this control,” he added.


Gazprom grew out of the former Soviet Union’s Gas Industry Ministry and was part-privatised from 1993, though the Russian state retains a controlling stake of 50 percent. Naftogaz is 100 percent owned by the Ukrainian state.


Analysts have said that Ukraine needed the gas discount from Russia to cut its huge budget deficit and meet the International Monetary Fund’s conditions for releasing a new loan tranche.


Ukraine was hammered by the global financial crisis and Putin said Russian state bank VTB is ready to offer the country a 500 million dollar (376 million euro) loan to help its crisis-hit economy.


 

Source: SGGP

Kyrgyz interim head speaks with Putin

In Uncategorized on April 8, 2010 at 11:54 am

Kyrgyz opposition supporters attack a riot policemen’s vehicle during an anti government protest in Bishkek. AFP photo

MOSCOW (AFP) – Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin spoke by phone on Thursday with the new interim leader in Kyrgyzstan and offered aid to the Central Asian state, a spokesman said Thursday.


“Putin noted that… Russia has always provided and remains ready to provide necessary humanitarian aid to the people of Kyrgyzstan,” Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for the powerful Russian prime minister, told AFP.


Moments earlier in the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek, an opposition leader announced to a throng of supporters that the country’s newly-designated leader, Roza Otunbayeva, had spoken by phone with Putin.


Putin told Otunbayeva that “he supports the policies of Kyrgyzstan’s provisional government,” opposition leader Omurbek Tekebayev told the crowd.


Otunbayeva claimed authority in Kyrgyzstan on Wednesday following a day of ferocious clashes between her supporters and security forces under President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, who was later reported to have fled the capital.


Kyrgyz opposition supporters attack a riot policemen’s vehicle during an anti government protest in Bishkek. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has spoken by phone with the new interim leader in Kyrgyzstan and offered aid to the Central Asian state, a spokesman has said.

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Source: SGGP

Putin offers to help Venezuela’s space bid

In Uncategorized on April 3, 2010 at 9:06 am

CARACAS, April 2, 2010 (AFP) – Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Friday offered to help develop Venezuela’s space industry on his first visit there, as the two countries deepened military, energy and financial ties.


“Venezuela has already entered the satellite, space race. Russia’s experience is gigantic in this regard,” said Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez during a joint press conference with Putin.


“We could even install a satellite launcher here and a factory. We are already doing so with China, but Russia is offering to support Venezuela build its own (space) industry,” Chavez said.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez (R) welcomes Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin upon his arrival at Simon Bolivar International airport in Caracas April 2, 2010. AFP photo

Putin was received with military honors Friday at Caracas international airport by Chavez, a leftist firebrand who has signed a dozen military agreements with Moscow since 2005 worth some 4.4 billion dollars.


“This is a truly important day for the country and for Latin America,” Chavez said late Thursday in a televised address.


“It is a visit of great importance. We are forging, like steel, a new multipolar world.”


Last week, in announcing Putin’s first visit to Latin America’s biggest oil producer, Chavez thanked Russia for helping Venezuela “bolster its defensive potential” in the face of “threats” from the United States.


Bolivian President Evo Morales also arrived in Caracas late Friday and was expected to seek a 100-million-dollar loan from Russia to purchase military and other hardware, officials in La Paz said.


They would include an Antonov aircraft for the president’s use.


Venezuela also recently won a two-billion-dollar credit from Russia to buy T72 armored vehicles and anti-aircraft systems, raising concerns in Washington, which has called for transparency.


To underscore the military cooperation between the two friendly nations, a huge Russian Antonov 124 cargo plane landed in Caracas on Friday delivering four Russian Mi-17 helicopters to the Defense Minister, General Carlos Mata.


“We’re very happy to receive this new batch of helicopters,” Chavez said of the delivery.


“These are very important fruits of the cooperation between Russia and Venezuela.”


Putin and Chavez began with a visit to a Russian merchant marine fishing vessel, which will be used to train Venezuelan sailors.


From there, they placed a wreath at the tomb of Venezuelan independence hero Simon Bolivar, followed by a private meeting at the Miraflores presidential palace, where they signed more than two dozen agreements.


The accords will bring Venezuela “to the next phase of cooperation with Russia, which no longer will be limited to energy and military matters, but now also includes social, cultural and health issues,” said Vice President Elias Jaua on state-run VTV television ahead of the visit.


Topping the list was an agreement to set up a Russian-Venezuelan development bank to finance a joint venture for oil and gas exploration in eastern Venezuela’s oil-rich Orinoco river basin.


The enterprise — 60-percent owned by Venezuela, 40 percent by a consortium of Russian companies — hopes to extract up to 450,000 barrels of oil per day from the Amazon region.


On Thursday, Chavez said Venezuela wanted to prepare for the “post-oil” era by developing nuclear power.


“We’re not going to build an atomic bomb, but we want to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes,” Chavez said.


He was speaking one year after he signed an agreement to that end with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev during a visit to Moscow.


Putin and Chavez also signed cooperation deals in agriculture, transportation, and the prevention of natural catastrophes, according to the meeting agenda.


There was no mention about an agreement on Venezuela’s space program.


US State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said the two nations had the right to pursue relations with whichever nations they chose, but questioned Venezuela’s priorities.


“We would note that the government of Venezuela was largely closed this week due to energy shortages and to the extent that Venezuela is going to extend resources on behalf of its people, perhaps the focus should be more terrestrial than extraterrestrial.”


Links between Venezuela and Russia have grown in recent years, with Medvedev visiting Venezuela in late 2008 during joint naval exercises, while Chavez visited Moscow in September.


Morales also traveled to the Russian capital in mid-February.


Morales and Putin were expected to discuss their own joint venture for gas and oil exploration in Bolivia, which has the second largest natural gas reserves in Latin America.

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Source: SGGP

Putin offers to help Venezuela’s space bid

In Uncategorized on April 3, 2010 at 9:06 am

CARACAS, April 2, 2010 (AFP) – Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Friday offered to help develop Venezuela’s space industry on his first visit there, as the two countries deepened military, energy and financial ties.


“Venezuela has already entered the satellite, space race. Russia’s experience is gigantic in this regard,” said Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez during a joint press conference with Putin.


“We could even install a satellite launcher here and a factory. We are already doing so with China, but Russia is offering to support Venezuela build its own (space) industry,” Chavez said.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez (R) welcomes Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin upon his arrival at Simon Bolivar International airport in Caracas April 2, 2010. AFP photo

Putin was received with military honors Friday at Caracas international airport by Chavez, a leftist firebrand who has signed a dozen military agreements with Moscow since 2005 worth some 4.4 billion dollars.


“This is a truly important day for the country and for Latin America,” Chavez said late Thursday in a televised address.


“It is a visit of great importance. We are forging, like steel, a new multipolar world.”


Last week, in announcing Putin’s first visit to Latin America’s biggest oil producer, Chavez thanked Russia for helping Venezuela “bolster its defensive potential” in the face of “threats” from the United States.


Bolivian President Evo Morales also arrived in Caracas late Friday and was expected to seek a 100-million-dollar loan from Russia to purchase military and other hardware, officials in La Paz said.


They would include an Antonov aircraft for the president’s use.


Venezuela also recently won a two-billion-dollar credit from Russia to buy T72 armored vehicles and anti-aircraft systems, raising concerns in Washington, which has called for transparency.


To underscore the military cooperation between the two friendly nations, a huge Russian Antonov 124 cargo plane landed in Caracas on Friday delivering four Russian Mi-17 helicopters to the Defense Minister, General Carlos Mata.


“We’re very happy to receive this new batch of helicopters,” Chavez said of the delivery.


“These are very important fruits of the cooperation between Russia and Venezuela.”


Putin and Chavez began with a visit to a Russian merchant marine fishing vessel, which will be used to train Venezuelan sailors.


From there, they placed a wreath at the tomb of Venezuelan independence hero Simon Bolivar, followed by a private meeting at the Miraflores presidential palace, where they signed more than two dozen agreements.


The accords will bring Venezuela “to the next phase of cooperation with Russia, which no longer will be limited to energy and military matters, but now also includes social, cultural and health issues,” said Vice President Elias Jaua on state-run VTV television ahead of the visit.


Topping the list was an agreement to set up a Russian-Venezuelan development bank to finance a joint venture for oil and gas exploration in eastern Venezuela’s oil-rich Orinoco river basin.


The enterprise — 60-percent owned by Venezuela, 40 percent by a consortium of Russian companies — hopes to extract up to 450,000 barrels of oil per day from the Amazon region.


On Thursday, Chavez said Venezuela wanted to prepare for the “post-oil” era by developing nuclear power.


“We’re not going to build an atomic bomb, but we want to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes,” Chavez said.


He was speaking one year after he signed an agreement to that end with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev during a visit to Moscow.


Putin and Chavez also signed cooperation deals in agriculture, transportation, and the prevention of natural catastrophes, according to the meeting agenda.


There was no mention about an agreement on Venezuela’s space program.


US State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said the two nations had the right to pursue relations with whichever nations they chose, but questioned Venezuela’s priorities.


“We would note that the government of Venezuela was largely closed this week due to energy shortages and to the extent that Venezuela is going to extend resources on behalf of its people, perhaps the focus should be more terrestrial than extraterrestrial.”


Links between Venezuela and Russia have grown in recent years, with Medvedev visiting Venezuela in late 2008 during joint naval exercises, while Chavez visited Moscow in September.


Morales also traveled to the Russian capital in mid-February.


Morales and Putin were expected to discuss their own joint venture for gas and oil exploration in Bolivia, which has the second largest natural gas reserves in Latin America.

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Source: SGGP

Putin, Chavez, Morales broaden energy, military cooperation

In Uncategorized on April 2, 2010 at 11:23 am

CARACAS, April 2, 2010 (AFP) – Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is to meet the presidents of Venezuela and Bolivia in Caracas Friday to sign military and energy deals that broaden Russia’s footprint in Latin America.


Putin’s first visit to Venezuela underscores Russia’s deepening relations with Latin America’s leading leftist regime, and serves as a gateway to a region long considered as Washington’s backyard.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez (L) and his Ecuadorean counterpart Rafael Correa offer a press conference at the Carondelet presidential palace in Quito on March 26, 2010. AFP photo

Russia and Venezuela signed 12 military agreements in 2005 and 2007 worth some 4.4 billion dollars that have raised some concern among US policymakers.


Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said late Thursday that it was “a very important day for the country and for Latin America… We are building a new, multipolar world.”


Last week the firebrand leader, in announcing Putin’s visit, thanked Russia for helping Venezuela “bolster its defensive potential” in the face of “threats” from the United States.


Bolivian President Evo Morales is expected to seek a 100-million-dollar loan from Russia to purchase military hardware, including an Antonov aircraft for the president’s use, officials in La Paz said.


Russian officials, including Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin, arrived in Caracas Wednesday to prepare for Putin’s visit.


Putin and Chavez will sign “accords taking us to the next phase of cooperation with Russia, which no longer will be limited to energy and military matters, but now also includes social, cultural and health issues,” Vice President Elias Jaua said Thursday on state-run VTV television.


Topping the list is an agreement to set up a Russian-Venezuelan development bank to finance a joint venture for oil and gas exploration in eastern Venezuela’s oil-rich Orinoco river basin.


The enterprise — 60 percent owned by Venezuela, 40 percent by a consortium of Russian companies — hopes to extract up to 450,000 barrels of oil per day from the Amazon region.


Putin and Chavez will also sign cooperation deals in agriculture, transportation, and the prevention of natural catastrophes, according to the meeting agenda.


Links between the two nations have grown in recent years, with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev visiting Venezuela in late 2008 during joint naval exercises. Chavez visited Moscow in September last year, while Morales traveled to the Russian capital in mid-February.


Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro on Thursday said Russian-Venezuelan cooperation was based on “mutual trust in matters of security and defense… that has allowed us to upgrade all technology and equipment in our armed forces.”


Morales and Putin, meanwhile, are expected to discuss their own joint venture for gas and oil exploration in Bolivia, which has the second largest natural gas reserves in Latin America.


While in Moscow in February, Morales and Medvedev signed a memorandum on energy cooperation to develop a gas pipeline network in the land-locked South American nation.


Medvedev at the time also told Morales he hoped Russia would soon deliver a batch of military helicopters, its first defense hardware for the Andean republic.


The head of Russia’s military cooperation service, Mikhail Dmitriyev, said that Moscow was ready to grant Bolivia a loan for buying Russian military hardware. That loan, is expected to be confirmed during Friday’s summit.

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Source: SGGP

Putin hints at 2012 presidential run

In World on December 4, 2009 at 4:43 am

Russia’s strongman Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Thursday he would consider running for president again in 2012, putting him on a potential collision course with incumbent Dmitry Medvedev.


“I will think about it. There is plenty of time,” Putin said in televised remarks when asked whether he would seek to return to the Kremlin when Medvedev’s first term expires.


But just hours later Medvedev, Putin’s handpicked successor in 2008, said during a visit to Italy that he might run for a second term.


Related article: Medvedev considers re-election in 2012


“If Putin is not ruling it out, neither am I,” Medvedev told a press conference in Rome.








Russia Prime Minister Vladimir Putin

There has been intense speculation that Putin, who is still widely seen as Russia‘s most powerful politician, might be planning a return to the presidency.


Putin stepped down as president in 2008, barred by Russia’s constitution from running for a third consecutive term, but nothing prevents him from running in 2012 and he has never ruled out the possibility.


The president and premier have portrayed themselves as a unified “tandem”, even though Medvedev, a 44-year-old former corporate lawyer, is often seen as more liberal than Putin, a 57-year-old ex-KGB agent.


“We have known each other many, many years,” Putin said, referring to Medvedev, during a live phone-in show where he took questions from ordinary Russians.


“Both of us graduated from the same university, learned from one and the same professors, who instilled in us not only knowledge but (the same) approach to life.”


Putin also stressed it was too early to talk of 2012: “Right now it is only 2009. I think the biggest mistake would be to take efforts going on right now and make them subordinate to the interests of a future election campaign.”


Medvedev for his part indicated that the two men would continue working in close cooperation.


Related article: Putin slams jailed tycoon Khodorkovsky


“We are close to each other and work well together,” he said in Rome. “We can come to an agreement. We will take a reasonable decision.”


Of the two men, it was Putin who commanded the attention of Russians on Thursday as he answered 80 questions during a marathon four-hour, phone-in show, a tradition he has continued from his presidency.


Putin urged “very tough” measures against terrorism, as he sought to assure Russians shocked by a weekend train bombing that killed 26 people and injured around 100 more along one of the country’s busiest railroads.


“It is necessary to act in a very tough way against criminals who carry out these kinds of terrorist attacks,” he said.


“We need all of society — every one of us — to be aware of this threat which has been with us all these years,” said Putin, who earned a reputation for toughness by cracking down on Chechen rebels during his rise to power a decade ago.

Most questions in Putin’s phone-in focused on bread-and-butter economic issues such as pensions, unemployment and even the low salaries of kindergarten teachers.

In one of the few forays into foreign policy on the show, Putin lashed out at the United States for “hindering” Russia’s long-running bid to join the World Trade Organization.

The back-and-forth between Putin and Medvedev reflected growing competition within their tandem, said political analyst Alexander Konovalov, president of the Centre for Strategic Assessments, a think tank in Moscow.

“Medvedev is more and more coming out of Putin’s shadow, competition between the two men can be felt more and more,” Konovalov said.

“It’s clear now that if they both run, it is Putin who will win because he is more entrenched, with more financial and economic resources.”

State television said over two million questions had been sent to Putin by telephone, SMS and email for Thursday’s phone-in, the eighth such show he has conducted and the second since he became prime minister last year.

Some questions were also asked by video link from people in various parts of Russia, including hardhat-wearing workers who addressed Putin from factory floors.


Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share

Putin set for televised Q&A session

In World on December 3, 2009 at 10:42 am

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin will tackle on Thursday questions from the nation during his annual question-and-answer session, RIA-Novosti quoted the premier’s spokesman as saying.








Russian PM Vladimir Putin

As of 09:00 a.m. on Thursday [06:00 GMT], “a huge volume” of some 1.5 million questions and messages had been addressed to the premier, most of them centering on the fight against terrorism in the wake of the recent train attack, social and economic issues, the need for police reform, and other issues, Dmitry Peskov said.


Some of the questions have been posted at www.moskva-putinu.ru, and more can still be submitted.


Peskov said the phone-in, called A Conversation with Vladimir Putin. The Sequel, could last an hour and a half, but warned that everything “will depend on its intensity.” It will be aired live at noon Moscow time [09:00 GMT].


Last year saw a record for Putin, who answered 80 questions in three hours and eight minutes, three minutes over the longest of the six televised question-and-answer sessions he had held as head of state.


Today’s session is also expected to include a video linkup to Togliatti, where Russia’s largest ailing carmaker, AvtoVAZ is based, and the northwestern town of Pikalyovo, where cement production was resumed in the summer upon Putin’s instructions, Peskov said.


Some view today’s event as Putin’s chance to improve his popularity ratings, which have been falling in the past few weeks.


Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share