Putin Reminisces About Dad

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has exposed more of his personality in a recent interview where he spoke about his father, thriftiness and his penchant for travel.

When making decisions about the future of the country, he said he thought about how his father used to check their electricity meter on the stairwell outside his apartment.

"It was life, the real life of an ordinary family, and we must never forget about that," Putin told state channels Rossia and My Planet.

The recollection helps him focus on how government decisions can affect ordinary citizens, he said, according to the transcript of the interview posted on his official web site Sunday evening.

Asked whether he was a thrifty person, Putin replied, "Probably not."

He added, however, that he wouldn't burn through all his money.

"A man must always think about how to provide for his children. … Simply spending away all you have is irresponsible," both on the government and the household level, he said.

Commenting on his busy travel schedule, Putin said it was his desire for self-fulfillment that keeps him on the road for much of his time. He gave the interview in Khakasia early Saturday, during a stopover en route to Sakhalin, where he held energy industry meetings and reiterated that radiation levels were safe despite the proximity to Japan.

In Khakasia, Putin had a look at a snow leopard that preservationists had captured to study as part of a project funded by the Russian Geographic Society. Putin is chairman of the society's board of trustees.

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