Vladimir Putin
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Putin, Medvedev Go Fishing

Russia's ruling tandem of President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin have put on a new show of unity ahead of elections by going fishing and taking a joint dive in the river.

The carefully choreographed footage of two leaders -- both potential candidates in March elections that will likely only feature one of the two men -- appeared aimed at removing suggestions of a brewing political rivalry.

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Russian Delegation Seeks to Clinch Oil Exploration Deal with Lebanon

A Russian team is visiting Lebanon in an attempt to sign contracts with Lebanese authorities to have oil exploration rights in Lebanon’s Exclusive Economic Zone, media reports said Saturday.

As Safir daily reported that the delegation was carrying a message from Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to his Lebanese counterpart.

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'Medvedev Girls' Strip for Kremlin Chief

Two young women stripped down to bikinis in central Moscow on Thursday to express support for Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, in the latest exposure of bare flesh ahead of 2012 polls.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has already inspired an apparently rival group of women to similar acts of naked daring but this was the first time the incumbent Russian president has prompted an erotic frisson.

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Belarus Unimpressed by Putin Unification Call

Belarus on Tuesday gave a cool reception to Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's surprise announcement he favors a merger between the two countries into one state as in the days of the USSR.

The opposition raised the alarm over what it said were Russian dreams to essentially annex Belarus while sociologists said that support for re-unification with Russia was dwindling in the country year-by-year.

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Putin in Favor of Russia, Belarus Uniting into Single State

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Monday said he was in favor of Russia and its western neighbor Belarus uniting into a single state, as in the days of the Soviet Union.

"This is possible and very desirable," said Putin, when asked at a pro-Kremlin youth camp on Russia's Lake Seliger if Russia and Belarus could merge into one entity.

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'Stripper Army' Urges Putin Kremlin Return

A mysterious Internet video has emerged urging young Russian women to rip off their clothes as an army to encourage Vladimir Putin to return to the Kremlin in 2012 elections.

"He's a worthy politician and an awesome man. He is adored by millions," says the provocative video by supporters dubbed "Putin's Army."

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Kremlin Aide Says Putin Sent to Russia by God

Vladimir Putin was sent to Russia by God to help it deal with its troubles in the early post-Soviet era, the Kremlin's top political adviser was quoted as saying on Friday.

"To be honest, I think of Putin as a person who was sent to Russia by fate and the Almighty at a difficult hour," Interfax quoted first deputy administration chief Vladislav Surkov as telling Chechen television.

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Putin's Blueberry Hill Remix Wows Russian Clubbers

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin caused jaws to drop last year when he gave an impromptu performance of the Fats Domino classic "Blueberry Hill" at a charity concert.

Now one of the country's best known DJs has remixed Putin's vocals into a six-minute dance track that he says is wowing clubbers around the country, even if he admits that Putin is "not a singer."

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Ukraine ex-PM Tymoshenko Goes on Trial

Ukraine's ex-prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko on Friday went on trial for alleged abuse of power, denouncing her rival President Viktor Yanukovych as a coward fearing political competition.

The former premier, known as the "Iron Lady", is accused of abuse of power in connection with a contract she signed with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin after a brief interruption of gas deliveries from Russia in early 2009.

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Paris Presses U.N. on Syria, Moscow Warns of 'Interference'

France stepped up pressure Monday on the United Nations to speak out against Syria's deadly crackdown on protests, but Russia again said it opposed "interference" in the country's internal affairs.

"The U.N. Security Council cannot remain silent for much longer," French Prime Minister Francois Fillon said during a joint press conference in Paris with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

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