Putin warns foreign states over meddling in Russian affairs
Wed Dec 12, 2012 4:13PM
"Direct or indirect meddling in our internal political process is unacceptable," Vladimir Putin said.President Vladimir Putin has warned foreign countries against interfering in Russia's affairs as he presents the first state of the nation speech in the Kremlin. "Direct or indirect meddling in our internal political process is unacceptable," Putin said on Wednesday. Since Putin’s return for a new six-year presidential term in May, he has recently accused Georgian businessmen of convening with anti-Putin activists to organize and conduct mass riots with the purpose of overthrowing the government.
Last year Putin pointed the finger at the US over encouraging opposition protests and blamed foreign governments of funding opposition groups during elections.Putin now intends to ban foreign sponsorship of Russians in politics. “A figure who receives money from abroad for his political work, and thus serves some foreign interest, cannot be a politician in Russia,” the Russian leader said. A passed legislation in the parliament classifies a non-governmental organization (NGOs) that receives foreign financing and deals in some form of politics as a “foreign agent” or in other words, a foreign spy. Putin has increased preventative action against street demonstrations and tightened control over foreign-backed NGOs that Russia accuses of interfering in its current affairs. Putin, 60, won 64 percent of the vote in the March 2012 election. He took office as president on May 7. Highlights to his political career include serving as president for two consecutive terms from 2000 to 2008 and working as prime minister from 2008 to 2012. GVN/SZH