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PUTIN 'VALUES' RELATIONS WITH U.S. AND EU... President Vladimir Putin gave a live interview on Ukrainian television on 26 October, Russian and Ukrainian media reported. Three major networks carried the interview. Putin arrived in Ukraine for a three-day visit earlier that day. Speaking about his vision of the world order and Russia's place in it, Putin said that Russia is working with the United States to combat terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Russia is also developing ties with the European Union, which accounts for more than 50 percent of Russia's trade, he said. Culturally, Russia is a European country, Putin said, despite the fact that it stretches to the Pacific Ocean. "But I, for one, believe that the world can only be multipolar," he added. "Only a multipolar world can have internal energy and stimuli for its development," Putin said. The Russian president named China, India, Japan, South Africa, and Brazil as the "other poles of world civilization." Putin also said that Russia has no ambition to revive the Soviet Union as such an "attempt would be counterproductive and impossible." "Many in the CIS regret the loss of the Soviet Union and they are right in doing so, but once that happened, we should concentrate on the here-and-now," he said. VY

...PRAISES RUSSIAN-UKRAINIAN RELATIONS... Ahead of the Ukrainian presidential election on 31 October, President Putin also said that Russia will not "purposefully support any political forces in Ukraine," as doing so could bring dangerous results. He noted that, in recent years, the two countries have solved their border disputes and the problem of Ukrainian debt to Russia. Many observers believe that the solution of the border disputes is a sign that Russia fully recognizes Ukraine's independence. Answering a viewer's comment that a Russian naval base in Sevastopol is a violation of the Ukrainian Constitution, Putin said that Russian seamen are in Ukraine on a "provisional basis" and by agreement with the Ukrainian authorities. Putin also promised to facilitate the entrance of Ukrainians into Russia without visas and "to think about dual citizenship for Russian, Ukrainian, and Belarusian citizens." Many Russian observers have said that, by appearing on Ukrainian television, Putin is showing strong support for presidential candidate and Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich. Opposition candidate Viktor Yushchenko's access to national television is limited. VY

...AND SAYS WILL NOT RUN FOR A THIRD TERM. Answering a question from a viewer about the possibility of running for a third presidential term, President Putin said that the most important political value in Russia and Ukraine today is stability. "But to provide stability, one should obey the law.... The Russian Constitution envisages only two presidential terms and I will be led by this provision," Putin said. Last week, Pavel Borodin, state secretary for the Union of Russia and Belarus, said that a referendum on the possibility of Putin being elected for a third term is very likely, Ekho Moskvy reported on 19 October (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 20 October 2004). Liberal Democratic Party of Russia leader Vladimir Zhirinovskii told TV-Tsentr on 16 October that after the presidential election in Ukraine, the Kremlin should propose a constitutional amendment on a third presidential term. "I would personally welcome such a development as it would bring stability," Zhirinovskii said. VY

ANOTHER OF THE PRESIDENT'S MEN JOINS A CORPORATE BOARD. Presidential foreign-policy adviser Sergei Prikhodko on 25 October was named chairman of the board of directors of the TVEL holding company, the state-owned company that is Russia's primary nuclear-fuel exporter, "Izvestiya" reported. Previously, the company's board has been overseen by representatives of the former Atomic Energy Ministry. Forty-five nuclear reactors abroad -- including in Finland, Germany, Ukraine, Armenia, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic -- are run on TVEL fuel. Recently, deputy presidential-administration head Igor Sechin was named chairman of the board at Rosneft, and deputy presidential-administration head Vladislav Surkov was named board chairman of Transneftprodukt. RC

RUSSIAN PRESIDENT PRAISES UKRAINIAN GOVERNMENT'S ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE... Vladimir Putin, who arrived in Ukraine on 26 October on a three-day visit, participated in the same day's one-hour question-and-answer session that was broadcast live on Ukraine's three major television channels, UT-1, 1+1, and Inter. A transcript of Putin's interview was subsequently posted on his official website ( Putin praised the economic performance of Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych's cabinet, under which he said the economy is growing at an annual rate of more than 13 percent. "The government of Ukraine has succeeded in reducing, to a reasonable extent, the government's nonproductive expenses while concentrating financial resources on resolving the main social issues such as increasing pensions," Putin said in a passage that Ukrainian commentators saw as his indirect backing to Yanukovych's presidential bid. In general, however, the Mass Information Institute website ( spoke for many when it commented that Putin disappointed Yanukovych's election staff with his live appearance on Ukrainian television. According to the website, the only politician Putin "campaigned for" on Ukrainian television on 26 October was himself. Putin answered more than 30 questions within one hour. JM

...ENDORSES ECONOMIC INTEGRATION IN POST-SOVIET AREA... Putin repeatedly told Ukrainian viewers that in his opinion it is impossible to restore the Soviet Union. On the other hand, Putin declared that he is a staunch supporter of economic integration among CIS countries. Putin said it would be advisable to set up a supranational body for regulating tariffs on the post-Soviet area. "As for a [common] government and parliament, it is a remote prospect," he noted. "Such issues are not on the agenda today." JM

...PROMISES TO EASE BORDER CROSSING REGIME WITH UKRAINE... Putin said on Ukrainian television that after returning to Moscow he will instruct relevant state bodies to ease the border-crossing regime with Ukraine and allow Ukrainian citizens to enter Russia not only with foreign-travel passports but also domestic ones. He also promised to simplify the obligatory registration of Ukrainians entering Russia but did not elaborate. JM

...AND REMAINS NONCOMMITAL ON DUAL CITIZENSHIP ISSUE. Asked about his opinion on introducing dual citizenship in Ukraine, which is one of Yanukovych's presidential campaign pledges, Putin said he "fears getting ahead" of some issues, adding that "any of our actions may be perceived as an attempt to restore something." He noted, however, that Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus present a "special case" in this regard. "We need to think about that," Putin said. "When I say 'we,' I have in mind not only Russia but also Ukraine. We cannot resolve this issue unilaterally. It should mature, it should be brought forward by society itself." JM

YUSHCHENKO WARNS PUTIN ABOUT POSSIBLE 'PROVOCATIONS' IN UKRAINE. Opposition presidential candidate Viktor Yushchenko said in an open letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin that the Ukrainian authorities are planning "provocations" against Putin during his current visit to Ukraine, the "Ukrayinska pravda" website ( reported on 27 October. "According to our information, [Ukraine's] ruling team wants to transform your visit into a dirty and dangerous show and attribute responsibility for its own provocative actions to the opposition," Yushchenko said. Yushchenko assured Putin that People's Power, the coalition of forces that back Yushchenko's presidential bid, is in favor of mutually advantageous, friendly, and stable relations with Russia. JM

POLLSTER SAYS NEARLY HALF OF KYIV RESIDENTS MISTRUST POLITICIANS. UNIAN reported on 27 October that its sociological service found in a poll conducted earlier this month in Kyiv among more than 1,500 respondents that 48.7 percent of them said they do not believe any Ukrainian politician. A similar poll in October 2003 found that this indicator of distrust stood at 35.7 percent. JM

RUSSIAN ENVOY TELLS CHISINAU WITHDRAWAL IS 'OUT OF QUESTION' BEFORE CONFLICT IS SOLVED. Igor Savolskii, special envoy of the Russian Foreign Ministry, said in Chisinau on 26 October that it is "out of the question" for Russia to withdraw its troops from Transdniester before a solution to the conflict is found and agreed on by all sides, Flux reported. Savolskii said the Russian arsenal in the separatist region "cannot be just jettisoned" and Moscow is unable to withdraw its weaponry without first securing the approval of Tiraspol. Savolskii also said that the five-sided format of the negotiations, in which Russia, Ukraine, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe participate as mediators might still serve the purpose of reaching an agreement. MS