Alexy II supports prime ministership for Putin

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Moscow, Dec 13: The Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexy II has supported an appeal to President Vladimir Putin to become Prime Minister after the March 2 election, in order to ensure continuity of power.

''If we have such a combination-- a new President, and Vladimir Vladimirovich (Putin) gives consent, I think it will be a great blessing for Russia,'' Patriarch Alexy II said in an interview to NTV television channel today supporting the appeal by the presidential candidate and First Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

The Patriarch noted that during Mr Putin's term, Russia has become a more prosperous country and has enhanced its influence in the world.

''We are not recognizing Russia after eight years, how it is reckoned with in the world community,'' he stressed.

Alexy II emphasised Mr Putin's devotion to ''our Fatherland, love for the Fatherland which he has demonstrated, his tremendous efforts towards the benefit of our Fatherland, its power and its development for the good of our people.''

''Having known Vladimir Vladimirovich for many years, I can testify that he has never been possessed by ambition and pride in his activity,'' the Patriarch said.

UNI

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