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Putin outlines future challenges in pre-election manifesto

(Xinhua)

09:32, January 17, 2012

MOSCOW, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) -- Russian Prime Minister and presidential hopeful Vladimir Putin outlined his presidential bid and listed his major policy goals in an article issued Monday.

The article, published in the Izvestia daily and on Putin's election campaign website, was considered by local media and experts the preamble to his upcoming election agenda.

Putin said his bid for president in the March elections was to continue working to ensure Russia's sovereignty and prosperity for coming years, adding national stability and sustainable development would be the cornerstone of his work.

"Our task for the years ahead is to remove everything that prevents us from going forward from the path of national development," he wrote.

Putin said 80 percent of Russians had caught up with the living standards of 1989, the best year in the country's history. He said these people were a pillar of Russia's middle class, which is widely considered as his electoral base.

"We enter a new social reality. Educational revolution reshapes society and economy drastically. We must learn to use the educational drive, to mobilize the middle class expectations and readiness to take responsibility for the nation's prosperity and sustainable development," Putin said.

He admitted Russia's energy exports-based economic growth had exhausted itself and promised to create about 25 million jobs in the modern sectors in his presidency, saying "This must become an all-nation task."

Putin said Russia's stability could only be earned "through the hard labor, openness to change and readiness to thoughtful reforms" in a modern world.

He criticized governments which attempted to "impose democracy by force," calling them the "allies of the destructive forces."

"Even the very good intentions cannot justify violation of international laws and state sovereignty," Putin said, adding that Russia must play a role combining European values with oriental experience.

The prime minister published his draft election program on the website last week, vowing to end police repression, make government more accountable and improve people's lives. His press service said the official election platform would be made public before Feb. 12.

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