Putin Aide Accuses Russian President of Campaign Silence

Posted January 27th, 2012 at 7:20 pm (UTC-5)
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The head of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's presidential campaign has accused Russia's President, Dmitry Medvedev, of failing to support Mr. Putin's effort to seek a historic third term.

In an interview published Friday in the Izvestia newspaper, Stanislav Govorukhin, a lawmaker and a famous film director, accused Mr. Medvedev of distancing himself from Mr. Putin's campaign.

He suggested that Mr. Medvedev should more actively support the man he has nominated for president.

The prime minister's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, played down Govorukhin's statement, saying that the outgoing president gave Mr. Putin “exhaustive support” when he proposed him.

President Medvedev has been criticized for stepping down after just one term to help ensure Mr. Putin's victory in the presidential vote in March. He has said that Mr. Putin is more popular and since the two share the same views on politics, there is no point for them to compete.

Russians have staged mass protests since December's parliamentary elections, claiming fraud in favor of Mr. Putin's United Russia party.