Dmitry Medvedev
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Suleiman Heads to Moscow to Receive Award, Meet Top Officials

President Michel Suleiman traveled to Moscow on Saturday for talks with his Russian counterpart and to receive an award on his role in calling for dialogue and opening channels of communication between bickering parties.

Suleiman's three-day visit at the head of a delegation that includes deputy Prime Minister Samir Moqbel comes following an official invitation sent by Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill I.

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Putin Denies Russia has Authoritarian System

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday denied running an authoritarian system, saying he had many chances to change the constitution during his rule, but never did.

"I cannot call this system authoritarian, I cannot agree with this," Putin told the first major news conference since his return to the Kremlin.

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Medvedev Defends Tough Laws, Keeps Silent on U.S. Human Tights Bill

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Friday defended recent laws against Kremlin critics while appearing to ignore the passing by the U.S. Senate of the so-called Magnitsky bill that blacklists human rights abusers.

Speaking in a live television interview, Medvedev also said the country had began the "arduous work" of rooting out corruption, referring to a series of high-profile graft scandals that have shaken the country over the past month.

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Medvedev Criticizes Nations Backing Syrian Opposition

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Wednesday criticized countries siding with the Syrian opposition and insisted Moscow was staying neutral in the conflict.

"We don't support anybody in this conflict, neither President (Bashar) Assad nor the rebels, contrary to what people generally think," Medvedev said in an interview with Finnish broadsheet Helsingin Sanomat.

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Russia Quietly Marks Anniversary of Putin 'Job Swap'

Russia on Monday quietly marked the one-year anniversary of the landmark announcement that Vladimir Putin would return to the Kremlin for a new term which has already seen a fresh clampdown on civil society.

Putin's plan to trade jobs with then president Dmitry Medvedev was unveiled at a ruling United Russia party congress on September 24 last year, followed months later by unprecedented protests against his domination.

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Putin to Meet Annan for Syria Talks

Syrian peace mediator Kofi Annan was due in Moscow on Monday for talks with President Vladimir Putin that come amid growing pressure on Russia to finally back the ouster of President Bashar Assad.

The Kremlin said Sunday the U.N.-Arab League envoy would arrive in Moscow on Monday and meet Putin the following day for talks in which "Russia will underscore its support the peace plan of Kofi Annan."

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Russia PM's Defiant Island Visit Angers Japan

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Tuesday made a repeat trip to one of the four Pacific Kuril islands claimed by Japan, drawing new protests from Tokyo following years of unrelenting tensions.

Medvedev arrived on the island of Kunashir which lies just north of Japan's Hokkaido Island, pledging to improve the lives of the disputed chain's residents.

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Russia to Agree N. Korea Debt Settlement

The Russian government is this month set to agree a framework to settle North Korea's $11 billion debt to Moscow dating back to Soviet times, a deputy minister said.

Russia's Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Storchak made a rare visit by a top Russian official to Pyongyang from May 31 to June 2 to discuss the settling of the outstanding debt.

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Report: U.S. to Work with Russia on Yemen Style Plan in Syria

The administration of President Barack Obama is considering working with Russia on a plan calling for the departure of Syrian President Bashar Assad under a proposal modeled on the transition in Yemen, The New York Times reported Sunday.

The newspaper said the plan calls for a negotiated political settlement that would satisfy Syrian opposition groups but that could leave remnants of Assad's government in place.

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Putin Puts Stamp on New Russia Government

President Vladimir Putin put his stamp on a new government Monday that kept his most trusted allies in charge of finance while leaving tested veterans at the helm of foreign affairs and defense.

But the cabinet also left some room for open-market reformers, with the appointment of a liberal aide of current premier and Putin's predecessor Dmitry Medvedev to a key industry post.

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