Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party has won a sweeping victory in parliamentary elections. The Kremlin has hailed the outcome as a show of support for the man himself.
Giving his first reaction to the win, the president said that without doubt parliament now had greater legitimacy.
“It is clear to me that Russians will never allow their country to develop along the destructive path seen in some other countries of the former Soviet Union,” he told workers outside Moscow.
He added that this sense of “responsibility” was the main indication that Russia is getting stronger on the economic, social and political fronts.
Rejecting criticism of the poll, the president has defended the results as “legitimate.”
He is expected to use the win as a mandate to continue shaping politics after his term as president ends next year.
The Russian leader says he won’t tinker with the constitution to enable him to stand as president again. But he has envisaged becoming prime minister.