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Putin's Relative Launches Political Party

Roman Putin, founder of the People of Business party, is the son of the president's cousin.

One of President Vladimir Putin's relatives has launched a political party and said he wants to contest parliamentary elections next year, the Kommersant daily reported on Friday.

Roman Putin, son of President Putin's cousin Igor, told Kommersant in an interview that his People of Business party was a right-wing conservative project aimed at supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs.

His party would support the ruling pro-Putin United Russia party in parts of the country where it lacked seats, he said.

Like President Putin, Roman Putin, 42, is a former employee of Russia's FSB security service. The Spark database of Russian companies shows he is the director of a firm called Putin Consulting Ltd.

Roman Putin said he had not discussed his political plans with the president, but did not anticipate problems.

"I have my own position and I intend to promote it through political processes," he told Kommersant.

"Even in America under Bush there were many Bushes - governors, senators. Members of the same family can even compete."

He said he had no intention, however, of competing with President Putin, who is in the process of trying to change the constitution to allow himself to run again in 2024.

"Our country needs a strong leader, especially in the situation of a global crisis," said Roman Putin. "There is no alternative to Vladimir Putin."

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