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Elections Commission Says Putin Articles Were Informational, Not Campaigning

Articles published this month by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in three major newspapers were not part of his presidential campaign, and were beneficial to voters in that they informed them about Putin's activities, the Central Elections Commission said Tuesday, RIA-Novosti reported.

Putin penned articles this month in Izvestia, Nezavisimaya Gazeta and Vedomosti outlining his views on social policies, nationalist tendencies, and economic policy. Independent elections watchdog Golos said yesterday that Putin broke electoral law by publishing the articles, which it said were part of Putin's campaign platform.

By law, presidential candidates cannot start campaigning in the mass media until Feb. 4.

"The prime minister within the framework of his authorities is laying out his position on current and prospective issues," elections commission member Maia Grishina said Tuesday, RIA-Novosti reported.

The fact that information from the prime minister is appearing in various publications is correct, as it allows him to reach a greater audience and give an equal amount of attention to different media outlets, Grishina said.

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