Putin calls for a 'multivectored' foreign policy

The main aim of Russia's foreign relations is development of a policy that is not limited to a single vector, Vladimir Putin declared in a direct hookup overnight Sunday from his campaign headquarters. 'Our chief object is not the demonstration of imperial ambitions but achieving and securing conditions that encourage Russian development,' Putin said. 'This has been our rule up to now, and it has helped us.'

Putin said he was hopeful that under the new foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, building on his own experience and that of Sergey Ivanov, Russian foreign policy would be an effective instrument for influencing international relations.

On domestic questions, the president said his priority would be to strengthen the institutions of democracy and develop a multiparty system of regionally influential parties, that is of parties capable of representing the interests of the regions in Moscow. 'We must create conditions conducive to the development of parties of all persuasions,' the president asserted.

Putin also expressed determination to step up efforts to strengthen the institutions of civil society. 'That will be the foundation of a modern economy,' he said.

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