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Putin Warns Against Interference In CIS

President Vladimir Putin (file photo) 6 September 2005 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin has said foreign pressure for reform in former Soviet Union states risks turning them into chaotic "banana republics."

His comments come today in an interview in Britain's "The Times" newspaper.

Putin said Western governments may have been mistaken in backing nongovernmental organizations pushing for change during last year's Orange Revolution in Ukraine.

Putin said it was no surprise that Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko's chief of staff quit on 3 September to protest what he said was rising corruption among top officials.

Putin said he did not believe Western support for pro-democracy movements in ex-Soviet states was aimed at undermining Russian influence.