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Putin Says Russia Is No 'Monster'

Vkadimir Putin (epa) May 29, 2007 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin has urged other countries to stop portraying Russia as a "monster" with "claws and horns" when it comes to democracy and human rights.

He said problems should be solved "without arrogance," adding that no country is "white, pure, and furry."

Putin made the remarks after talks in Moscow with Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates, whose country takes over the EU's rotating presidency on July 1.

Putin also warned about U.S. plans to deploy a missile defense shield in Europe.

"We consider it harmful and dangerous to turn Europe into a powderkeg and fill it with new types of armaments," Putin said. "This creates new, unnecessary risks for the entire system of international relations in the world and in Europe."

(Interfax, ITAR-TASS)

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