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.
TEXT SIZE - +

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.


James Brooke

A foreign correspondent who has reported from five continents, Brooke, known universally as Jim, is the Voice of America bureau chief for Russia and former Soviet Union countries. From his base in Moscow, Jim roams Russia and Russia’s southern neighbors.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 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.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid