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PETROPAVLOVSK-KAMCHATSKY, October 7 (Itar-Tass) — Russian President Vladimir Putin expects that competitive activity in the economic sphere will not develop into a conspiracy theory. The president spoke in a film broadcast by NTV television on his 60th birthday.
In reply to the query about the nature of speculations concerning “a fifth column”, “a conspiracy theory” and “an external enemy,” Putin noted that “we are witnessing the rivalry for leadership in the economic sphere, for resources”.
According to Putin, there is one more reason “connected with the fact that we and the United States are the biggest nuclear powers – nobody else in the world has such a quality and number of nuclear weapons”. Putin also noted that “a major large-scale program for updating nuclear arsenals” is being implemented in Russia. “That is why, unfortunately we are still seen as an enemy,” he regretted.
Speaking about jailed oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the president said he was ready to consider his petition for pardon if he applied for it accordance with the established procedure.
“If he petitions for pardon, we will look into that,” the president said, noting that this must be done in line with the law, that “there is a specified procedure”.