Putin says Khodorkovsky has right to engage in politics
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, one of his biggest critics, had the right to engage in politics "as any Russian citizen". Putin pardoned Khodorkovsky a year ago and the former oligarch was released after a decade in prison the following month. (Reporting by Polina Devitt, Writing by Gabriela Baczynska)
Iraq PM drops lawsuits against journalists
BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has ordered the withdrawal of all pending government lawsuits against journalists and media outlets.
Russia's Putin says always wants to consolidate society
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday all his actions were aimed at consolidating the Russian society. (Reporting by Katya Golubkova, writing by Elizabeth Piper, Editing by Gabriela Baczynska)
Putin says Russian economy will rebound, wants political solution in Ukraine
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin held his annual end-of-year news conference on Thursday. Below are extracts of the news conference: UKRAINE "We assume the crisis should be solved, the sooner the better." "It should be solved through political measures, not with the pressure... of an economic blockade or the use of armed forces." "We assume a general political space will be re-established. It's hard to say now what it would be. But it seems this is what we should aim at. Both sides (of the conflict) should aim at that - both. ...
Putin says Russia's turn to Asia was planned long ago
MOSCOW (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday Russia's turn toward Asia was a long-planned move and that a new gas route to China would help both sides. At his annual end-of-year news conference, Putin said: "The gas contract with China was not made at a loss. Both sides will benefit." (Reporting by Katya Golubkova, writing by Elizabeth Piper, editing by Timothy Heritage)