Russia's Putin sworn in for another six years in office

World
By Reuters

MOSCOW - President Vladimir Putin stuck with his long-serving prime minister in his first act after being sworn in for a new term on Monday, signalling that he would keep faith with a policy direction that has brought Russia into conflict with the West.

Standing in the ornately-decorated Andreyevsky Hall of the Grand Kremlin Palace, with his hand on a gold-embossed copy of the constitution, Putin, 65, swore to serve the Russian people, to safeguard rights and freedoms, and protect Russian sovereignty.

Putin secured a new six-year term after more than 70 percent of voters backed him in a March 18 presidential election. His most dangerous challenger, Alexei Navalny, was not allowed to take part and on Saturday was detained at a protest called under the slogan: “Putin is not our tsar.”

Soon after the inauguration ceremony, the Kremlin issued a statement saying that Putin had nominated Dmitry Medvedev again to be prime minister in his new term. Medvedev, a loyal Putin lieutenant, has held the job since 2012.

Some Kremlin-watchers had speculated Putin might bring in a fresh face as prime minister to kick-start reforms of the sluggish economy and revive foreign investment curtailed by stand-offs with the West.

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