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Vladimir Putin (file photo) (ITAR-TASS)
July 1, 2006 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin says opposition groups should be given more opportunity to express their views.
Speaking to officials from the Kremlin-backed Unified Russia party,
Putin said Russia's optimal development will come only through genuine
debate and discussion about policy.
Critics have accused the Putin
administration of centralizing power and stiffling independent media
and the oppposition in recent years.