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Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Thursday accused the United States of spending “hundreds of millions” of dollars to influence Russian politics. (Associated Press)

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Russia Elections_Lea.jpg

Russian opposition members chant anti-government slogans during a rally in Moscow on Monday, Dec. 5, 2011, to protest against Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and his party. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)

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Prime Minister Vladimir Putin looks on as he and Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev, unseen, meet with their supporters in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011.Russia's main independent election watchdog says prosecutors have opened a probe against the group suspecting it of breaking election laws just three days before the parliamentary vote.(AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, pool)

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Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin speaks during a United Russia party congress in Moscow on Sunday, Nov. 27, 2011, at which he formally was nominated as the party's candidate for president in next March's election. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

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Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (right) and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (center) attend a welcoming ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Oct. 11, 2011. (Associated Press/RIA Novosti)

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Russia Putin_Lea.jpg

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin tells an investment forum in Moscow on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2011, that Russia is strong enough to withstand economic shocks. (AP Photo/Misha Japaridze)

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Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Saturday accepts the United Russia party's nomination for president. If Mr. Putin wins the March 4 election — a near-certainty — he will be eligible to hold his steely command over Russia for two six-year terms. (Associated Press/Ria Novosti)

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Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin attends a United Russia party's congress in Moscow on Friday, Sept. 23, 2011. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)

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Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin speaks at a business forum in Moscow on Thursday, May 26, 2011. (AP Photo/Misha Japaridze)

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Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (right), speaking at a government meeting in the Gorki residence outside Moscow on Friday, may have to negotiate with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (left) as to which one will be the next elected president of Russia. (Associated Press)

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Mr. Putin's speech last week is seen as a signal that he wants to reclaim the country's presidency. "The nation needs decades of stable and calm development without any sharp movements and ill-conceived experiments" based on liberal policy, he said. (Associated Press)

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Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, addressing the State Duma, the parliament's lower chamber, in Moscow on Wednesday, April 20, 2011, said Russia must be "independent and strong" to resist outside pressure. (AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel)

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Vice President Joseph R. Biden speaks to Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (second left), during their meeting in Moscow on Thursday. The talks in Moscow are expected to focus on missile defense cooperation and Russia's efforts to join the World Trade Organization. (Associated Press)

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** FILE ** Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, foreground, crosses himself as he attends an Orthodox Christmas service in the XIX century church of the Protecting Veil of the Mother of God in Turginovo village, about 160 kilometers (100 miles) northwest of Moscow, Russia, on Friday, Jan. 7, 2011. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, Pool)

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Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (left) listens to a question during a call-in session broadcast live on Russian state television and radio from Moscow on Thursday, Dec. 16, 2010. (AP Photo/RIA Novosti, Alexei Druzhinin, Pool)

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Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin chairs a government meeting in Moscow, Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2010. Putin said Wednesday he will not fly to Zurich for the 2018 World Cup vote because he wants to avoid exerting any pressure FIFA officials ahead of the vote. (AP Photo/RIA Novosti, Alexei Druzhinin, Pool)

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Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin chairs a government meeting in Moscow, Monday, Nov. 29, 2010. Putin says Russia could import grain in the aftermath of last summer's drought to help keep domestic prices low. (AP Photo/RIA Novosti, Alexei Nikolsky, Pool)

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Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, right, Prime Minister of Nepal Madhav Kumar, center, and, Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina attend the International Tiger Forum in St.Petersburg, Russia, Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2010. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

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Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin speaks at the International Tiger Forum in St. Petersburg, Russia, Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2010. Officials from the 13 countries where tigers live in the wild have signed a declaration aimed at saving the iconic big cats from extinction. Russia is home to Siberian tigers, and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin hosted the "tiger summit." (AP Photo/RIA Novosti, Alexei Druzhinin, Pool)

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In this Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2010, photo Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, left with U.S. actor Leonardo Di Caprio, right, after a concert dedicated to tiger conservation in St. Petersburg, Russia. Officials from the 13 countries where tigers live in the wild have signed a declaration aimed at saving the iconic big cats from extinction. Russia is home to Siberian tigers, and Putin hosted the "tiger summit." (AP Photo/RIA Novosti, Alexei Druzhinin, Pool)