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Putin: Russia Still U.S. Partner Despite Leaked Cables

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin being interviewed by CNN's Larry King
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin defended his country's progress in democracy and affirmed its cooperation with Washington in a wide-ranging interview.

Putin told CNN that Russia is cooperating with the United States on key issues related to the Iranian and North Korean nuclear programs.

Putin rebuked comments in cables released by WikiLeaks suggesting that Russian democracy is disappearing and that cooperation with Washington has fallen short.

Putin said U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates was "deeply misled" about Russian democracy and warned U.S. officials not to "interfere" in Russia's internal politics.

He was responding to the leak of a cable from February in which Gates suggested that "Russian democracy has disappeared."

compiled from agency reports