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Putin views 4-year as prime minister ‘a hard work’

(Xinhua)

10:01, May 03, 2012

MOSCOW, May 2 (Xinhua) -- Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Wednesday called his four-year work as prime minister "a hard word " and praised the government for its great work.

"My work in the government, all through these years, is really a hard work, and it is a special test of strength for me and a special period of learning," Putin told his last government meeting.

The president-elect, who is going to be inaugurated on May 7, said he was sure "the next government will be leaning on the people as well."

Meanwhile, Putin noted that the government has succeeded in curbing unemployment and preserving social programs amid the global financial crisis, calling on the ministers to keep going in that direction.

Citing the formation of the Customs Union comprising Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and their Common Economic Space as the key success of his government, Putin said "This is the largest geo- political event in the post-Soviet space, a common success of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan."

The tripartite Customs Union became fully operational on July 1, 2010. The three member states officially launched the Common Economic Space on January 1, 2012, in a bid to intensify economic integration in the post-Soviet space.

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