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Despite popular support for a visa regime with former Soviet republics, Russian President Vladimir Putin has opposed such a move, saying "A visa regime would mean that we are pushing former Soviet republics away, but we need to bring them closer." (Associated Press)

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Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko (right) prior to a summit to discuss the crisis in Ukraine. "Putin's real plan is the destruction of Ukraine and the re-establishment of the USSR," Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk said. (Kazakh Presidential Press Service via Associated Press)

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Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with participants in the youth educational forum at the Seliger youth camp near Lake Seliger, some 450 kilometres (281 miles) northwest of Moscow, in Tver region, Russia, Friday, Aug. 29, 2014. Russia's President Vladimir Putin on Friday called on pro-Russian separatists to release Ukrainian soldiers who have been surrounded by the rebels in eastern Ukraine. (AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Mikhail Klimentyev, Presidential Press Service)

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A tweet allegedly from the Russian deputy prime minister shows conflicting images of Vladimir Putin and PResident Obama.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin pets a snow leopard cub at the snow leopard sanctuary in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi, Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014. Putin checked in Tuesday at a preserve for endangered snow leopards and visited a group of cubs born last summer in the mountains above the growing torrent of activity in Sochi for the Winter Games. (AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Alexei Nikolsky, Presidential Press Service)

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Russian President Vladimir Putin heads the Cabinet meeting in the Novo-Ogaryovo residence, outside Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, July 30, 2014. (AP Photo/RIA Novosti, Alexei Nikolsky, Presidential Press Service)

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President Barack Obama speaks on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, July 29, 2014, as he announces new economic sanctions against key sectors of the Russian economy in the latest move to force Russian President Vladimir Putin to end his support for Ukrainian rebels. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

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Russian President Vladimir Putin heads the Cabinet meeting in the Novo-Ogaryovo residence, outside Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, July 30, 2014. (AP Photo/RIA Novosti, Alexei Nikolsky, Presidential Press Service)

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Russian President Vladimir Putin is "using Soviet tactics to confuse the U.S.," Fox News reported. (Associated press)

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Russian President Vladimir Putin is "using Soviet tactics to confuse the U.S.," Fox News reported. (Associated press)

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President Barack Obama walks on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, July 29, 2014, to announce new economic sanctions against key sectors of the Russian economy in the latest move to force Russian President Vladimir Putin to end his support for Ukrainian rebels. (AP Photo/J. David Ake)

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President Barack Obama walks on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, July 29, 2014, to announce new economic sanctions against key sectors of the Russian economy in the latest move to force Russian President Vladimir Putin to end his support for Ukrainian rebels. (AP Photo/J. David Ake)

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Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a recording of nationwide TV address at the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow early Monday, July 21, 2014. Putin has lambasted those who use the downing of a passenger jet in eastern Ukraine for "mercenary objectives," the Kremlin said Monday. In a statement posted on the Kremlin website, Putin again lashed out at Ukraine for ongoing violence with pro-Russian rebels in the eastern part of the country. (AP Photo/RIA Novosti Kremlin, Mikhail Klimentyev, Presidential Press Service)

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FILE - This, July 16, 2014, file photo shows Russia's President Vladimir Putin as he arrives for an official group photo during the BRICS summit at the Itamaraty palace, in Brasilia, Brazil. Months after Russia annexed Crimea and stepped up support for separatists in eastern Ukraine, Europe and the U.S. are still searching for an effective way to persuade Putin to change course. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana, File )

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Russian President Vladimir Putin steps down upon his arrival at the airport of Samara, Russia, Monday, July 21, 2014. Putin has lambasted those who use the downing of a passenger jet in eastern Ukraine for "mercenary objectives," the Kremlin said Monday. In a statement posted on the Kremlin website, Putin again lashed out at Ukraine for ongoing violence with pro-Russian rebels in the eastern part of the country. (AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Alexei Nikolsky, Presidential Press Service)

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Vladimir Putin Illustration by Gado/Daily Nation, Nairobi, Kenya

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Vladimir Putin Illustration by Gado/Daily Nation, Nairobi, Kenya

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Russian President Vladimir Putin has lambasted those who use the downing of a passenger jet in eastern Ukraine for "mercenary objectives." The Kremlin said Mr. Putin also lashed out at Ukraine for ongoing violence with pro-Russia separatists in the eastern part of the country. (RIA-Novosti via Associated Press)

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Russian President Vladimir Putin listens during a meeting in Samara, Russia, Monday, July 21, 2014. Putin has lambasted those who use the downing of a passenger jet in eastern Ukraine for "mercenary objectives," the Kremlin said Monday. In a statement posted on the Kremlin website, Putin again lashed out at Ukraine for ongoing violence with pro-Russian rebels in the eastern part of the country. (AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Alexei Nikolsky, Presidential Press Service)

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Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, sits in an aircraft cockpit the Progress State Research and Production Space Centre (also known as TsSKB-Progress) in Samara, Russia, Monday, July 21, 2014. Putin has lambasted those who use the downing of a passenger jet in eastern Ukraine for "mercenary objectives," the Kremlin said Monday. In a statement posted on the Kremlin website, Putin again lashed out at Ukraine for ongoing violence with pro-Russian rebels in the eastern part of the country. (AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Alexei Nikolsky, Presidential Press Service)