News / Europe

Putin Promises Stability if Elected Russia's President

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin gestures as he talks at a meeting of an investment advisory panel in Moscow, October 17, 2011.
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin gestures as he talks at a meeting of an investment advisory panel in Moscow, October 17, 2011.
James Brooke

Russia is scheduled to hold parliamentary elections on December 4 and presidential elections on March 4. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin went on national television Monday to explain why Russians should vote for the ruling United Russia party and elect him as the country's next president.

Putin defended his bid for a third term in the Kremlin, arguing that Russia is still a fragile state 20 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

In a rare admission of Russia’s weakness, Putin told three interviewers from state-controlled stations that “[e]verything here is tacked together, both in politics and in the economy.”

Last month, the Russian prime minister and President Dmitry Medvedev unveiled a plan to swap jobs next year. The plan depends on Medvedev leading the ruling United Russia party to victory in parliamentary elections seven weeks from now. Then, Putin, Russia’s most popular politician, would win presidential elections in March.

This would allow Putin to lead Russia for as long as 24 years - longer than the 17 years Leonid Brezhnev ruled the Soviet Union. Cartoons have appeared in the Russian press, showing an aging Vladimir Putin wearing a Brezhnev-style uniform adorned with medals.

Putin told Russian TV, “They say that the stagnation of the Brezhnev times will be back soon." But the prime minister said that he and Medvedev are smarter and have worked harder than leaders during the Soviet era.

Asked why many people in the West sees him as a hard-line leader, Putin said he was against “these cliches.”

The prime minister called for a balanced foreign policy and "friendly relations" with Russia's partners. But he warned Russian viewers, “It would be a great mistake for us to try to pull on the robes of some kind of superpower and to try to dictate our demands.”

Overall, Putin promised voters that there would be “no abrupt changes” in Russian policies.

With political competition limited and television heavily tilted toward the ruling party, December's parliamentary elections have generated little public interest in Russia. President Medvedev, who heads the candidate list of the United Russia party, is scheduled to be out of the country during much of November. Analysts say this could be a sign that he might not play a key role in the election campaign.

Earlier Monday, Prime Minister Putin made his first comment on the economic protests sweeping many Western capitals. Addressing executives of foreign multinational companies gathered in Moscow, he said "[h]undreds of thousands of people - not just a bunch of outcasts, but hundreds of thousands - are coming out onto the streets to demand what their governments are unable to fulfill."

The solution, he said, was to increase social spending to help reduce income inequalities. Kremlin budget figures show that social spending in Russia next year increasing by 20 percent.

You May Like

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

China to Open Stock Markets to Pension Funds

In unprecedented move, government to soon allow local pension funds to invest up to $94 billion in domestic shares More

1 Billion People Used Facebook on Single Day

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg praised the accomplishment in a posting on the social media site More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs