In a televised New Year message Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has expressed his certainty that 2012 will prove to be a successful year for his country’s economy. He described Russia a sea of stability amid the raging sea of the world economy.
“We are in the middle of a political cycle, the parliamentary elections have finished and the presidential elections are going to start. In such times, politicians always exploit the feelings of citizens, everything gets shaken around a bit, boils up. But this is the unavoidable price of democracy,” Putin said.
Earlier this week Putin had said that he was ready for dialogue with Russia’s opposition in the face of ongoing protests over claims that the recent election to the lower house was marred by violations.
After initially dismissing the demonstrations he appears to be softening his stance, admitting that the protesters “also deserve respect”.