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Putin Says Russia Will Remain On Democratic Path

24 September 2004 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin said today that Russia will remain on the path of democracy and a market economy.

Putin told a meeting of international media executives that Russia will fight terrorism in keeping with the constitution and international law.

He said Russia "made its choice ten years ago for democratic, free market, socially-orientated state" and there will be no turning back.

Putin's comments came as he faced criticism at home and abroad for proposals he has made to strengthen the powers of the central government following a recent series of terrorist attacks.

Putin also said Russia is not seeking to nationalize the embattled oil giant Yukos. He said if Yukos assets were put on sale, Russian private and state firms would be allowed to participate.