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Putin Calls for Unity in Last Speech to Parliament as PM

Russia's Prime Minister and President-elect Vladimir Putin answers a question of a deputy after addressing the parliament at the Russian State Duma in Moscow, April 11, 2012.
Russia's Prime Minister and President-elect Vladimir Putin answers a question of a deputy after addressing the parliament at the Russian State Duma in Moscow, April 11, 2012.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is calling on Russians to move beyond the political rancor that sent thousands into the streets to protest after elections that divided the nation.

He made the remark during his annual speech to the Duma, or lower house of parliament, Wednesday -- his last as prime minister. Putin is set to be sworn in for a third term as president on May 7.

In essence, he defended his recent election, saying the time has come to move beyond the heightened emotions and political battles that erupted after the vote.  Putin said it was now the responsibility of all political parties to join forces to improve the lives of the Russian people.

"The country has gone through a tense period of parliamentary and presidential elections. And today the echoes of the heightened emotions and political battles can still be heard," Putin said. "But the logic of mature democracy is that elections end and a new, much more important period of joint work always begins. We should all together look into the future, realizing that we have a joint responsibility for our country."

Deputies from the Just Russia faction walked out during the speech in protest of his remarks on a disputed mayoral election in the country's south.

"We left the plenary hall because we asked a specific question, but in response we heard an evasive answer," said Just Russia Deputy, Ilya Ponomarev. "We heard another lie. We think this is dishonorable behavior from a man who calls himself the national leader, from the President-elect, from the current Prime Minister."

Before the speech, police in Moscow arrested several protesters as they approached the Duma, including Russian opposition activist Sergei Udaltsov. Udaltsov was one of the leaders of the massive protests that followed the country's presidential elections in March.

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by: NATASHA
April 13, 2012 9:55 PM
Without Putin Russia would kneel down to the West and accept itsself to be their slave. That's why the West and a handful of Russian traitors have been trying for years to blacken and overthrow him.

by: russia insights
April 13, 2012 2:46 AM
Nevertheless, the nation did vote for him. Even despite the discussion over the legitimacy of the elections, it was said over 50% of Russians would have voted for Putin. The west forgets that their idea of 'democracy' (where politicians are funded by businessmen and private interest) is not one that will neccessarily work elsewhere. Russia has only known benevolent autocracy therefore it can not be expected that people would by largely dissatified with his rule. More on www.russia-insights.com

by: Pyotr
April 12, 2012 8:02 PM
Putin is not the national leader, he used to be a mediocre KGB colonel, then assigned by Yeltsin to save him and his family from justice. He gained popularity killing people in Russia, Chechnya, mostly Russian people, civillians and soldiers. So he is the leader of a stupid, ignorant and bygotted part of Russians. Sad thing but it seems they are the majority now. Perhaps this is why he is especially eager to destroy education.

by: NVO
April 12, 2012 9:58 AM
Russia is a SHAM. They will be the first to attack Israel during the tribulation, followed by Egypt and the Arab Federation, followed by China and the Kings of The East=Ezekiel 38&39. Very Ironic how Putin fails to recognize something that was prophesized so long ago! Very Ironic how he won't talk about it. But what do you expect from an EXTREME SECULAR?? You WILL be pushed back Russia=Joel 2:20.

by: Gennady
April 11, 2012 5:23 PM
The walkout of friendly to Putin party shows public disgust to his lawlessness, dishonesty & demagoguery. Those who refers to Putin’s courts don’t know a thing about them. His regime stole handsomely from 1.5 trillion $ for selling off natural resources & tries to go on. Russia got gagged, dying out with crumbling apart highways, infrastructure, miserable healthcare, public education & science.

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