Vladimir Putin rejects talks with opposition


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The Independent Online

Russia's prime minister Vladimir Putin has rejected the possibility of talks with opposition leaders who drew tens of thousands of people to protest rallies across the country.

The prime minister told Russian news agencies today that "there's no-one to talk to" among the leaders.

Mr Putin's authority was dented by a recent parliamentary election in which his party lost 25% of seats despite widespread allegations of vote-rigging in its favour.

The vote fraud triggered the country's largest protest rallies in 20 years demanding a rerun of the vote and Mr Putin's resignation.

Mr Putin yesterday firmly rejected the protesters' demands.

Mr Putin served as Russia's president in 2000-2008 and is now seeking a third term in office.