Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin at a meeting with editors-in-chief of leading Western newspapers in his Novo-Ogaryovo residence near Moscow© RIA Novosti. Alexei Druzhinin
NOVO-OGARYOVO (Moscow Region), March 2 (RIA Novosti)
Russian prime minister and presidential candidate Vladimir Putin has ruled out a possibility of holding early parliamentary elections in Russia.
When asked during an interview with editors-in-chief of several leading foreign newspapers whether he had plans to disband the Russian parliament’s lower house, the State Duma, and hold early polls if he won the March 4 elections, Putin said “no."
Mass street protests against the outcome of Decemeber 2011 parliamentary polls swept across Russia late last year. Citing what they called "mass vote fraud" in favor of Putin's United Russia party, protesters have demanded that the State Duma be disbanded and early polls held.
The editors-in-chief of France’s Le Monde, Britain’s The Times, Italy’s La Repubblica, Germany’s Handelsblatt, Canada’s The Globe and Mail and Japan’s Asahi Shimbun newspaper participated in the interview with Putin.
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The main event of the third day of the 11th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi was the closing session with President Vladimir Putin. The atmosphere was calm and open, despite the current political tensions and the Russia-West confrontation. The Russian president said that it corresponded to the spirit of the Valdai Club.