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Putin Warns Against Interfering In Russian Elections --> Vladimir Putin speaking to reporters at the G8 summit today (epa) June 8, 2007 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned foreigners against interfering in Russia's upcoming elections.

Speaking at a press conference at the close of the Group of Eight summit in Heiligendamm, Germany, Putin said he "will not allow any attempts to interfere or support any political forces inside the Russian Federation."

Russia is scheduled to hold parliamentary elections in December 2007 and a presidential election in March 2008.

Also in Germany today, British Prime Minister Tony Blair says he told Putin that other countries are "worried and fearful" about Russia's political direction.

Britain's relations with Russia are at a post-Cold War low, most notably over the radiation-poisoning death in London of former Russian security officer Aleksandr Litvinenko.

(compiled from agency reports)

Democracy In Russia

Demonstrators in Moscow carry a coffin with a television in it to protest government control over broadcasting (TASS file photo)

DO RUSSIANS LIKE THEIR GOVERNMENT? During a briefing at RFE/RL's Washington office on November 15, Richard Rose, director of the Center for the Study of Public Policy at the University of Aberdeen, discussed the results of 14 surveys he has conducted since 1992 on Russian public opinion about democracy and the country's development. He discussed the implications of these opinions for relations with the West and for Russia's 2008 presidential election.


Listen to the complete discussion (about 42 minutes):
Real Audio Windows Media


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