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Putin Warns Opposition To Act Within Law

Russian President Vladimir Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned opponents of his rule that they must follow the law or face the consquences.

Addressing an international economic forum in St. Petersburg, Putin said the desire for change of the political system "can become counterproductive and even dangerous if it leads to the destruction of civil order or the state itself."

Putin said everyone who wants to get involved in politics or "considers themselves to be a politician" is "obligated to express their position exclusively within the framework of the law."

Putin added his government is open to dialogue.

Putin recently signed into a law measure that allows for hefty fines for violations of laws on public demonstrations following a series of police raids on the homes of opposition leaders.

Based on reporting by ITAR-TASS and Interfax