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Putin visits General Shamanov, Commander of Russian Airborne Forces in hospital

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, left, walks to greet Lt. Gen. Vladimir Shamanov, the commander of the Russian Airborne Forces, right, in the military hospital in Moscow, Russia, late Saturday, Oct. 30, 2010. Shamanov was involved in a serious car accident on Saturday. (Getty Images / AP Photo/RIA Novosti, Alexei Druzhinin, Pool)


MOSCOW, October 30 (KATAKAMI / Itar-Tass) — Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has visited Airborne Troops Commander Vladimir Shamanov in the Burdenko central military hospital. Shamanov was seriously injured in a road accident on Saturday morning.

Coming into the room, the premier asked how Shamanov felt and noted: “It is good that at least you are smiling.”

Specialists are highly skilled here, and so everything will be good, Putin assured. “The spirits are high, and it is the main thing,” he added.

Shamanov thanked the premier for the visit and said: “We will be needed yet.”

The premier noted he would not speak at the time about what happened, adding that the main thing was how Shamanov felt.

Speaking to the doctors and hospital executives, Putin noted that serious work was to be done for the general to regain his health. The doctors told the prime minister that Shamanov would undergo an operation next week.

Fifty-three-year-old Shamanov got into the accident in the Tula Region on Saturday morning. The BMW car in which he was collided with a MAZ vehicle. Shamanov was taken to the Burdenko hospital at 19:02 Moscow time. He has an arm trauma, a shin fracture and brain concussion.

Photostream : Russian PM Putin & Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin takes part in an expedition to Ubsunur Hollow Biosphere Preserve

Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (R), Emergencies Minister Sergei Shoigu (C) and former Government Chief of Staff and newly-appointed Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin take part in an expedition to Ubsunur Hollow Biosphere Preserve to inspect the snow leopard's habitat in Tyva Republic in the Siberian Federal District in this undated photo.

Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (L, front) and former Government Chief of Staff and newly-appointed Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin (R, front) take part in an expedition to Ubsunur Hollow Biosphere Preserve to inspect the snow leopard's habitat in Tyva Republic in the Siberian Federal District in this undated photo. (Getty Images / REUTERS/Ria Novosti/Pool/Alexei Druzhinin )

Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin rides a horse as he takes part in an expedition to Ubsunur Hollow Biosphere Preserve to inspect the snow leopard's habitat in Tyva Republic in the Siberian Federal District in this undated photo. (Getty Images / REUTERS / Ria Novosti / Pool/Alexei Druzhinin )

Photos : Russian PM Vladimir Putin And his wife Lyudmila Putina takes part in all-Russia population census


Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (R) and his wife Lyudmila (C) talk to a census-taker as they participate in a nationwide population count at the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow October 16, 2010. Putin and his wife Lyudmila made a rare joint public appearance over the weekend seeking to reaffirm their marriage amid persistent divorce rumours. Picture taken October 16, 2010. (Getty Images / REUTERS/RIA Novosti/Alexei Druzhinin/Pool )



Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, right, and his wife Lyudmila Putina, second right, participate in the All-Russian population census at the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow, Saturday, Oct. 16, 2010. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and his wife Lyudmila invited a census taker to their suburban residence to fill in the census questionnaire. Russia on Thursday launched a two-week population census, its first since 2002 and second in its post-Soviet history. (Getty Images /AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Alexey Druzhinin, pool)

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, right, and his wife Lyudmila Putina, second right, participate in the All-Russian population census at the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow, Saturday, Oct. 16, 2010. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and his wife Lyudmila invited a census taker to their suburban residence to fill in the census questionnaire. Russia on Thursday launched a two-week population census, its first since 2002 and second in its post-Soviet history. (Getty Images / AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Alexey Druzhinin, pool)


Russia to deliver 35 tanks to Venezuela – Putin

Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez, left, and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, are seen during their meeting at the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow, Russia, Friday, Oct. 15, 2010 Chavez has reached a deal with Russia on Friday to build the South American country's first nuclear plant and negotiated other energy agreements. (GETTY IMAGES / AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel)



October 15, 2010 (KATAKAMI / RIA NOVOSTI) — Russia will soon supply another shipment of tanks to Venezuela, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said at a meeting with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Friday.

“Thirty-five tanks will be delivered soon,” he said.

Putin also said Venezuela is Russia’s “reliable partner.”

Chavez said the two states would speed up military cooperation. Venezuela is building a plant to manufacture Kalashnikov assault rifles.

Since 2005, Venezuela has bought over $4 billion worth of Russian weapons, including warplanes, helicopters, and Kalashnikov assault rifles.

Earlier on Friday, Russia and Venezuela signed an agreement on the construction of a nuclear power station in the South American state. The agreement was reached in April 2010 during Putin’s visit to Caracas.

The presidents of Russia and Venezuela, Dmitry Medvedev and Chavez, said on Friday bilateral ties are strengthening.

We are moving onto new agreements on a wide range of projects,” Medvedev said at talks in Moscow. “We have a strategic partnership – we are close friends.”

Medvedev also said Venezuela acted “like a real friend” when it followed Russia in recognizing the former Georgian republics of South Ossetia and Abkhazia after Chavez’s last visit to Russia in September 2009.

Chavez arrived in Moscow on Thursday as part of an international tour that also includes Belarus, Ukraine and Iran.

NOVO-OGARYOVO, October 15 (RIA Novosti)


Putin participates in opening ceremony of Russia-China oil pipeline’s Russian section

Russia’s Prime Minister Vladimir Putin

August 29, 2010

(KATAKAMI / RIA NOVOSTI) — Russia’s Prime Minister Vladimir Putin took part in the opening ceremony of the Russian section in the Russia-China oil pipeline, which took place in Russia’s Far Eastern Amur region on Sunday.

At the beginning of the opening ceremony Putin called the pipeline a multidimensional project to step up Moscow-Beijing energy cooperation. “This is vital project for us as we diversify the deliveries of our strategic raw materials. Thus far, we made the major deliveries to Europe…The Asia-Pacific region received unsubstantial volumes,” Putin said.

Setting the pipeline in operation will change the situation dramatically, the premier emphasized. “We will deliver 30 million tons of oil and, in case of expansion, 50 million tons to the Asia-Pacific Region.”

“The implementation of this project is a crucial task for Russia and our Chinese friends. It means stabilization of supplies and energy balance for China, and for us it creates entry to new challenging markets, in this particular case, to the growing market of China,” Putin said at the ceremony.

The project is part of the East Siberia – Pacific oil pipeline, which was launched into operation in December 2009 and is designed to pump up to 1.6 million barrels (220,000 tons) of crude per day from Siberia to the Far East and then on to China and the Asia-Pacific region.

The Russia-China pipeline will stretch from the town of Skovorodino in the Amur region to the city of Daqing in China’s northeastern Heilongjiang province.

“I recall how Chinese President Hu Jintao broached the issue of the project’s implementation in time of one of his visits to Moscow. We were then discussing the rout of the project, were the pipeline would lie: to the north or to the south of the Lake Baikal,” Putin said at the opening ceremony.

He emphasized that both Russia and China have known that the issues are complicated but all of them would be successfully resolved.

“I hope, our Chinese friends will tell the Chinese president and the prime minister about the fact… that the project has been accomplished in Russia. But Chinese friends will have to work for a while. Major efforts are ahead for them – 930 kilometers [of the pipeline] should be put up, these are high-technology operations,” Putin said.

“But I am absolutely confident that Russian oil will enter China this year,” he added.

In March, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said the construction of the pipeline would be finished by the end of the year and become fully operational in 2011.

Russia’s largest oil company Rosneft, oil pipeline monopoly Transneft and China’s state-owned China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) are partners in the project. In line with the contract, the Chinese side provided the Russian companies with a $25-billion loan to construct the pipeline. In exchange, the Russian side agreed to pump 15 million tons of oil per year via the pipeline in 2011-2030.

Putin stresses importance of new Far East space center

August 28, 2010

(KATAKAMI / RIA NOVOSTI) — Prime Minister Vladimir Putin underlined on Saturday the significance of a planned new space center in Russia’s Far East.

“We began talking about the necessity of building such a space center in 2005,” Putin, speaking at the Amur Region site where the Vostochny Space Center is to be built, said.

Russia currently uses two launch sites: the Baikonur space center in the Central Asian Republic of Kazakhstan, which it has leased since the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the Plesetsk space center in northwest Russia.

“The creation of a new space center…is one of modern Russia’s biggest and most ambitious projects,” Putin went on. “It will give us the opportunity not only to confirm Russia’s leading technological status…but will give hundreds, perhaps thousands, of young specialists the chance to prove their talents.”

He also said that while Russia had signed an agreement with “friendly” Kazakhstan on the continued use of Baikonur until 2050, the Kazakh center alone was not sufficient for “such a powerful space force as Russia.”

Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov said earlier in the day that all Russian manned space fights would be launched from the Vostochny Space Center from 2018,

He also said that cargoes and satellites would be launched from the space center from 2015.

The new space center, which will employ 20,000-25,000 people, will ensure Russia’s independence in the launch of piloted space vehicles, currently carried out at Baikonur.

Construction is expected to start in 2011, with design and survey work already under way.

Putin said in July that Russia would allocate 24.7 billion rubles (around $811,000) for the next three years for the construction of the space center.

Putin praises Russian car on 2,000-km drive in Far East

August 2010

(KATAKAMI / RIA NOVOSTI) — Russia’s car industry had a pleasant surprise for Vladimir Putin on Friday as the prime minister was moved to praise the Lada Kalina he is driving through four Far Eastern Russian regions.

Stopping to fill up the tank at a gas station almost 400 kilometers into his 2,000-kilometer trip along the newly-completed highway from Khabarovsk to Chita, Putin praised his Lada Kalina to a group of tourists.

“Unexpectedly, it turned out to be a very convenient, comfortable and reliable car,” Putin said when asked why he had chosen the latest offering from Russia’s car giant AvtoVAZ, which started selling the model in 2005.

“Try buying this car. I assure you, you won’t regret it,” he said.

He added that he would have been happy driving any AvtoVAZ car.

While western experts say the outlook for Russia’s indigenous car industry is grim, with some arguing the Russians only buy domestic cars because they cannot afford foreign marques, the Kremlin continues to put on a brave face.

Billions of rubles have been earmarked to help struggling automakers, and AvtoVAZ has been the main beneficiary of the country’s cash for clunkers scheme, which gives people trading in old cars 50,000 rubles towards the purchase of a Russian-made car.

These days, Russian-made vehicles include thousands assembled from imported knocked-down kits by Renault, Ford, Daewoo and many other international carmakers.

Despite the low price tags, many Russians remain wary of the Ladas and Volgas that have in various forms rolled off production lines for over 30 years now.

Even the country’s bureaucrats have resisted the allure of a domestic set of wheels – several feeble attempts to force them into Ladas and Volgas over the past decade have not gone beyond high-flown patriotic words in the parliament.

Instead, the elite have grown even more attached to their jet-black Mercedes and BMWs.

Russia Putin says cannot criticize late President Yeltsin

August 23, 2010

(KATAKAMI / RIA NOVOSTI)  Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has recently written an introduction to the book about the late Russian President Boris Yeltsin, saying he could not criticize the person who determined his future.

The Yeltsin’s biography, written by Boris Minayev, was published on the eve of the anniversary of Russia’s August coup d’etat in 1991 that resulted in ousting President of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev and proclaiming Yeltsin the new president of Russia.

Russian social political weekly Ogonyok published on Monday the introduction written by Putin, who succeeded Yeltsin on the highest state position in 2000.

“I said several times that when Yeltsin’s presidency was coming to an end, that I saw a different destiny for myself. But everything turned out differently. And this was the choice of my life,” Putin wrote.

Putin said the unbiased assessment of Yeltsin’s actions can be made over the years since “we, contemporaries, are definitely biased to everything that was happening before our eyes.”

The premier said he personally could not criticize Yeltsin either.

Putin recalled what Yeltsin said when leaving the Kremlin in 2000: “Take care of Russia.”

“These exact words should remain in history, to become the main parting words for everybody who takes this high position,” Putin said.

Russia Prime Minister Putin arrives in fire ravaged region to assess situation

Vladimir Putin

July 30, 2010

(KATAKAMI / RIA NOVOSTI)  Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Friday arrived in the wildfire ravaged region of Nizhny Novogorod, where more than 500 homes have been destroyed, to assess the situation.

Over the last 24 hours, 505 homes have been destroyed in the largest wildfire in the European part of Russia.

Russia’s Emergencies Ministry has not received reports of human casualties from the Nizhny Novgorod region, but at least 1,662 residents have been evacuated from the areas threatened by quickly spreading fires.

The ministry has dispatched additional firefighting units and 16 aircraft and helicopters to fight wildfires in five regions of central Russia.  (*)

Russia’s Putin Meets Ukraine’s Yanukovych


Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, left, and Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych meet at a presidential residence in Foros, near Yalta, in Ukraine’s Crimea Peninsula, Saturday, July 24, 2010. (Getty Images)

July 24, 2010

(KATAKAMI/ VOA) ) Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Vyktor Yanukovych held talks on a wide-range of issues Saturday in Ukraine.

The meeting took place at Mr. Yanukovych’s vacation home in the town of Foros on Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula.  Russian media reports say the talks focused on trade issues.

Prior to the meeting, Mr. Putin participated in a motorcycle rally near the port city of Sevastopol on the Black Sea coast of the Crimea peninsula.  Mr. Putin roared to the rally on a Harley Davidson mortorcyle where he addressed thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts.


Russia’s Prime Minister Vladimir Putin rides Harley Davidson Lehman Trike decorated with Russian and Ukrainian national flags as he arrives for the meeting with motorbikers at their camp near Sevastopol in Ukraine’s Crimea on July 24, 2010. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin. (Getty Images)

Mr. Putin’s visit to the Crimea coincides with Russia’s Navy Day, which is observed Sunday.  Sevastopol is home to Ukrainian naval forces and to Russia’s Black Sea fleet.

Speaking on Saturday Mr. Putin said it was symbolic of the friendship between Russia and Ukraine that both Russian and Ukrainian seamen will celebrate the Russian holiday.

The Russian base at Sevastopol was a major issue of contention between Russia and Ukraine after the break up of the Soviet Union.

Ukraine’s previous government wanted the Russian fleet to leave after its lease expired in 2017. However after Mr. Yanukovych came to power in February, Moscow and Kyiv signed an agreement to extend the Russian lease by another 25 years to the year 2042.  (*)