Putin accepts presidential nomination
Moscow, November 27, 2011
Vladimir Putin accepted his ruling party's nomination on Sunday to return to Russia's presidency, while accusing foreigners of funding his political opponents in a reminder of the anti-Western rhetoric that characterised his years in power.
Putin, president from 2000-2008 and now prime minister, is expected to easily recapture the presidency in an election in March. But opinion polls indicate a parliamentary election in a week could loosen his United Russia party's domination of Russian politics.
The timing of the announcement of his nomination for the presidency - which he said would seek in September - appeared aimed at giving United Russia a boost in the December 4 parliamentary vote amid flagging support.
"Of course, I accept the proposal with gratitude," Putin said confidently, accepting the nomination before a crowd of 10,000 supporters, chanting his name.
Putin said that ahead of both votes "representatives of some foreign countries are gathering those they are paying money to, so-called grant recipients, to instruct them and assign work in order to influence the election campaign themselves."
He said any such activity was a "wasted effort" because Russians would reject foreign-funded politicians. -Reuters