Putin warns foreign states against interfering in polls
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Sunday warned foreign countries not to interfere in parliamentary polls in December and presidential elections he is expected to win next year.
Putin told a congress of the ruling United Russia party that foreign countries were paying NGOs in Russia "in order to themselves influence the course of the election campaign in our country."
He dismissed the alleged Western attempts to influence Russia's election process as "useless work. Wasted money."
"It would be better if they used this money to pay off their national debt and stop spending money on ineffective and expensive foreign policies," said Putin.
"All our foreign partners must understand -- Russia is a democratic country, a reliable partner, a predictable partner, one that can and should be agreed with," Putin added.
"But it should never be dictated anything from abroad," he said to a strong round of applause.
The former KGB agent's comments came only moments after he accepted the party's nomination to stand in March 4 presidential elections that should return him to a seat he already held in 2000-2008.
© 2011 AFP