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Putin: No Return To Totalitarianism

President Putin (file photo) 19 November 2004 -- President Vladimir Putin says he is confident Russia will not return to a totalitarian system as existed under the Soviet Union.

The ITAR-TASS news agency quotes Putin as telling Chilean journalists that his goal is to build democracy, but without anarchy.

Putin said that while totalitarianism is ruled out, democracy must not be viewed as allowing everything, and the freedom of the market must not be understood as the right to rob the state and national resources.

Putin said Russia's building of democracy must take into account the level of the development of civil society and the traditions and way of life of the various peoples living on Russia's vast territory.

Putin's comments to the Chilean journalists come ahead of his arrival in Chile's capital, Santiago, for a summit of the 21-country Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum. Putin is expected to hold talks there with U.S. President George W. Bush and other leaders.


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