Vladimir Putin

FILE – In this Friday, July 31, 2009 file photo, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin signs a first pipe of the Sakhalin-Khabarovsk-Vladivostok natural gas pipeline in Khabarovsk, about 6100 kilometers (3,800 miles) southeast of Moscow, Russia. Russia’s oil-dependent economy is getting back on track after its biggest downturn in a decade as higher crude prices and new inflows of capital have shored up the country’s banks, government finances and stock markets. (AP Photo/RIA- Novosti, Alexei Druzhinin, Pool)

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