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Berlin suggests sending election observers to Russia

The Local · 26 Sep 2011, 16:17

Published: 26 Sep 2011 16:17 GMT+02:00

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Government spokesman Steffen Seibert said, “From a German point of view, it would be very helpful if a sufficient number of election observers were allowed into the country.”

But he also made it clear that the “strategic partnership” between Russia and Germany was of primary importance, and would be used as the basis for a continued close cooperation with any successor to President Dmitry Medvedev.

The German government was again reserved about Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s announcement that he would run for the Russian presidency in 2012. Putin announced his candidacy on Saturday in a bid to return to the top of Russian politics after constitutional restrictions forced him to step down after two terms in 2008.

Seibert said the German government had a principle of not commenting on decisions made by foreign political parties.

He added that Chancellor Angela Merkel had already said that she gets on well with the current President Medvedev, but that she would work well with any other democratically elected president.

If Putin wins the presidential election on March 4, 2012, as is expected, he could potentially govern Russia until 2024. Putin’s decision to run for an unprecedented third term in office – and to keep Medvedev as prime minister – is widely seen as evidence that he has been keeping his protégé in the post as a place-holder.

Story continues below…

Putin is still very popular in Russia, and his United Russia party holds 315 of 450 seats in the parliament, the Duma.

DAPD/The Local/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

17:59 September 26, 2011 by jmclewis
This will annoy the s%^& out of Putin, count on a natural gas shot off in February!
18:50 September 26, 2011 by Major B
"Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday that the likely return of Vladimir Putin to the presidency of Russia was a, ¦quot;national Russian matter,¦quot; and that she would work well with him."

Good move Chancelor Merkel. A Washington Post article on Sunday said, with two successive 6 year elections, that Putin will be 72 when he leaves the Russian Presidency. That is if he is re-elected and serves two terms. Sounds like a Czar to me. And he will surely be re-elected.

To be sure Russian needs a strong man(woman?). And we know Vladimir Putin is Russian patriot, which is to be admired. Then he should loosen state controls, give protectin to a free press, and give the Russian people the freedom they so deserve. And most of all he should clean up corruption, which is still rampant and which he promised to do.

Better yet, give someone else the opportunity, if he is trully a patriot.

Or maybe, just maybe, increased the suppression and state controls to come, coupled with the Russian people seeing the Arab Spring, the Persian(suppressed) spring and other peoples fighting for their freedoms, will cause a yearning to stir.

Will we see a few years from now the awakening of the biggest sleeping giant of them all -- the Slavic Spring?
00:54 September 27, 2011 by DOZ
Mr. Putin should respond to Berlin (an American Puppet) with a famous line from Pierre Trudeau. "Fuddle Duddle"
05:42 September 27, 2011 by derExDeutsche

Is it true you live in an Igloo?
08:50 September 27, 2011 by Gilly58
"Fuddle Duddle" Doz? If it is an Igloo, it is not on this planet, is it?
10:21 September 27, 2011 by karldehm
The problem is not with Russia or the Russian people, it's with the system.

Like my Russian wife says, nothing changed under the Czars, nothing changed under the Soviets, and nothing is going to changed under Putin and his merry thieves.

Russia has always had strong rulers and patriots, but that was never a key to success. They were strong so they could protect the interests of themselves and their henchmen.

Maybe, the answer is a less strong ruler and a stronger truly democratic government.
13:55 September 27, 2011 by jg.
What are the alternatives to Putin? The opposition is split amongst many parties, which comprise the Communist Party (that's not going to happen), a bunch of far right and really really far right nutters or a bunch of tax-dodging oligarchs who made their money in the thieving Yeltsin years.

Of the 50 or so Russians whose opinion I have asked in the last few years, one last voted for one of the right wing nuts, my father-in-law always votes Communist and rest support Putin. Unlike the Yeltsin period, ordinary people are able to earn a living under Putin, they are proud of their country and they don't trust the alternatives.
14:58 September 27, 2011 by SchwabHallRocks
The previous letters just demonstrate that this country always has been, and probably always will be, deeply troubled and dysfunctional.

Let's be optimistic. The Russian population is declining 5% or more every 20 years according to the demographic trends and it's life-expectancy is in free fall downward.

The world is slowly becoming free of this entity called Russia and all its inherent and inexplicable problems.
21:15 September 28, 2011 by Democracy
It is important to note here than neither Putin nor Medvedev are really in charge of Russia. Surkov is the man running the show there, and he has the most to lose from opposition and from losing what they call managed democracy. Just look what happened to Prokhorov. As the only man with new ideas, the courage to carry them out, and popularity among Russians as well as international business leaders and politicians, he quick became a target of Surkov's wrath and no sits on the sidelines. There will never be true democracy in Russia while puppetmaster Surkov controls the strings.
00:20 September 29, 2011 by Imrussian
Agree! Surkov is well known puppet master of russian politics, who by the way convinced Kremlin to use this term "managed democracy", and he "cleans the rows" of behalf of his own. He controls the strings in Kremlin.
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