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

Nigeria Incumbent in Tight Spot as Poll Nears

Muhammadu Buhari is running a strong challenge to Goodluck Jonathan, amid a faltering economy and Boko Haram security worries More

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo tells VOA that despite her fame, life is still a struggle as she waits for government's promise of support to arrive More

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

At least seven different indigenous groups in Ratanakiri depend mainly on forest products for their survival, say they face loss of their land, traditional way of life 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More