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Vladimir Putin named Person of the Year 2007

Time magazine has chosen Vladimir Putin its “Person of the Year” for 2007. The Russian President was praised for bringing stability and renewed status to his country. Putin beat several rivals to claim the award, including former U.S. Vice Pre

“In his eight years as President, he has guided his nation through a remarkable transformation. He has restored stability and a sense of pride among citizens who, after years of Soviet stagnation, rode the heartbreaking roller coaster of raised and dashed expectations when Gorbachev and then Yeltsin were in charge,” the U.S.- published magazine said.

Putin has also managed to return Russia to the international arena: “On global issues, it offers alternatives to America's waning influence, helping broker deals in North Korea, the Middle East, Iran,” Time said.

On the other hand, Putin’s quest for stability and a multi-polar world was took its toll on personal and political freedoms in Russia, they believe, going on to say:

“He wants free rein inside Russia, without foreign interference, to run the political system as he sees fit, to use whatever force he needs to quiet seething outlying republics, to exert influence over Russia's former Soviet neighbours.”

Former U.S. Ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, says the decision to name Putin 'person of the year' is a reflection of his prominence in world events over the last twelve months:

“The distinction simply means that this is the person who has caused the greatest impact on the news for real during the course of the year. Some very prominent people have got it but not because they were engaged in beneficent acts, I think it’s a recognition that this is the most newsworthy person of the year”.

Bolton believes Time’s awarding the title to Putin will result in a lot of people in the U.S. focusing on President Putin, including some who, perhaps, have not focused on him before.

“I think the reaction many people will have is to the change of democratic institutions in Russia,” he added.

Interview

Earlier Vladimir Putin was interviewed by Time magazine. The conversation lasted for more than three hours.

The Russian President commented on such hot issues as relations between Russia and the U.S., the fall-out of the Iraqi war and the possible American military operation against Iran.

Putin talked about the legacy of Soviet Union and the ghosts of the Cold War.

He also explained Russia’s domestic politics and how he sees the challenges and pitfalls of being a national leader.

To read the transcript of the interview please follow the link

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