Putin Wins Another Six Years In landslide Victory

Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin has won the presidential elections with 74 percent of votes polled, according to a state-run exit poll.

With nearly all of the votes counted in Russia's presidential election, the state-run Russia Public Opinion Research Center published an exit poll that showed Vladimir Putin with 76.6% of the vote.

"Putin is a leader chosen by the Russians themselves", Soini said.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said the European Union must continue to maintain dialogue with Russian Federation. The video clips, reportedly taken from inside a polling center in Lyubertsy, shows the election officials stuffing stash of pre-completed voting slips into a ballot box.

With 99.8% of the vote counted, the Central Election Commission said communist Pavel Grudinin came in a distant second with 11.9%.

Since first being elected president in 2000, Putin has stamped his total authority on the world's biggest country, muzzling opposition, putting television under state control and reasserting Moscow's standing abroad.The 65-year-old former KGB officer used an otherwise lacklustre presidential campaign to emphasise Russia's role as a major world power, boasting of its "invincible" new nuclear weapons in a pre-election speech.

Re-elected Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks to supporters in Moscow.

Vladimir Putin cruised to victory in Russia's presidential election on Sunday, giving him at least another six years in power as Moscow's relations with the West become increasingly strained.

Xi has drawn comparison with Putin as the Chinese leader has consolidated power and gained a path to indefinite rule after the rubber-stamp National People's Congress lifted presidential term limits last week.

Britain and Russian Federation are locked in a diplomatic dispute over the poisoning, and Washington is eyeing new sanctions on Moscow over allegations that it interfered in the 2016 US presidential election, which Russian Federation denies.

"Russia will remain a hard partner".

Officials and analysts say there is little agreement among Putin's top policymakers on an economic strategy for his new term.

The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, which observed the polls, said the election was conducted "in an orderly manner" but criticised irregularities related to vote secrecy and insufficient transparency in counting ballots.

Russia is now at odds with the West over Syria, Ukraine; allegations of cyber attacks and meddling in foreign elections; and the poisoning in Britain of a former Russian spy and his daughter.

"... We are ready to cooperate, we said that straight away, we are ready to take part in the necessary investigations, but for that there needs be a desire from the other side, and we don't see that yet".

A month before the French presidential election previous year, Putin hosted Marine Le Pen at the Kremlin.

Opposition leader Navalny is expected to call for anti-Putin protests demanding a re-run of an election he says was neither free nor fair.

The elections "were to some extent unfair and undemocratic", he said.

Writing past year, Carnegie Moscow Center Senior Fellow Andrei Movchan speculated that the government would not loosen its grip on the economy after the elections. The only candidate to openly criticise Mr Putin during the campaign, liberal TV star Ksenia Sobchak, secured just 1.7%. "They need a proper opposition", Navalny said Sunday.

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