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MOSCOW, April 25 (Itar-Tass) – Successor for the Office of the President will be elected by the people of the Russian Federation, President Vladimir Putin said Thursday as he addressed the nationwide audiences as part of a major question-time televised show.
He said it in an answer to a blitz-question on whether or not Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu will be his successor to the presidential post.
“It’s up to the people of Russian state to elect a person who will succeed to me,” Putin said.
One more blitz question was asked by a Paralympics swimmer who thanked him on behalf of all the Paralympics athletes and asked for speeding up construction of a training center.
“These swimming pools exist in Europe and even the Ukrainians have them and are we in any way worse than them?” the athlete said.
Putin answered that all the documents have been signed but the process has slowed down somehow.
He thanked the athletes for their performance at competitions, adding that the Russians hold them in high esteem “as our real heroes”.
As for the remark on Ukraine, Putin said: “If we really respect someone then we must recognize they are better than us in something.”
“I personally love Ukraine,” he said.
He promised “to energize” the project and to see to it that it be brought to completion.
One more professional group that expressed the words of gratitude to Putin was the Russian Arctic researchers. Vice President of their association, Nikolai Kornilov, thanked him for support and, in part, for drafting a decree by which the President made May 21 the Day of Arctic Researchers.
Kornilov said however that the document has not been signed yet and he asked Putin to speed the formalities up.
“You’re welcome to start celebrating it right now and we’ll sign the decree on our part,” Putin answered smilingly.