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Putin cracks down on fist fighting on NTV as hooliganism

September 21, 2011, 18:42 UTC+3

"We are on the front line, but we are not beating anyone," Putin noted

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MOSCOW, September 21 (Itar-Tass) —— Prime Minister Vladimir Putin branded as " hooliganism' an act of fist fighting in a live broadcast in "NTVshniki" program on NTV television.

Following the incident Chief of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs ( RSPP) Alexander Shokhin said the entrepreneurial community wants to conduct a civilized dialogue with the authorities, which is particularly important because "at times businessmen solve problems by fists".

Speaking at a meeting of the Coordination Council of the Russian People's Front ( (ONF) Shokhin said that the dialogue is important and that the business community intends to continue the dialogue, including on the ONF venue. "We should come to terms on the election rhetoric, slogans so as not to contradict each other and reach a compromise at a table rather than in television programs on air, especially when even entrepreneurs settle scores using physical force," Shokhin said, commenting on a scandalous incident involving prominent banker Alexander Lebedev and businessman Sergei Polonsky, who attacked each other in the NTV program on air.

"We are on the front line, but we are not beating anyone," Putin noted. "They have no front line out there, but they have been beating each other. It is hooliganism," Putin stressed. "Is there any ethics council at RSPP?" Putin wondered. "Luckily, both are not RSPP members, and no complaints were filed," Shokhin replied.

"We have veterans in the ONF; they are not young, but very strong guys. Besides, we have an organization of the veterans of the Afghan war. They will surely deal with the fist-fighters for all they are worth," Putin joked. «Just fancy them fighting for money. They might cut each other's throats," Putin noted.

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