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

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Video Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus 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.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid