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MOSCOW, December 31 (Itar-Tass) —— Most Russians will spend the last day of the outgoing year hurrying to do the last festive chores that seem to never end, and at midnight, seated at festive tables, they will raise glasses of sparkling wine to wish their dear ones and themselves a very happy new year. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is no exception – he will see in the new year in the company of his family.
In the last days of the New Year he told the media that for the relatives and friends he had very simple gifts in store: “Some modest items, very usual ones. The New Year type of thing, souvenirs.” Putin added, though, that he liked to give gifts more than to get them.
To all people of Russia the current prime minister and one of the presidential candidates promised a gift of fair elections.
Although the official holiday will last ten days, it is not ruled out that the prime minister will be back to work earlier, the way it happened on several occasions in the past. In 2000, Putin, then acting president, went to Gudermes on January 1 to present state decorations to Russian military in the Caucasus. In 2004 Putin held a meeting with the head of Gazprom, Alexei Miller, and Industry and Energy Minister Sergei Khristenko to discuss gas export to Ukraine. Another gas crisis erupted in Russian-Ukrainian relations in 2009. In 2010 Russia saw unusually harsh frosts and there remained uncertainty over energy supplies to and fuel transit through Belarus. And on January 1, 2011 Putin was hearing reports from electric power industry officials on progress in restoring disrupted power supply in the Moscow Region.