St Petersburg: Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has asked United Russia party members not to be afraid of political debates and struggle.
United Russia "firmly holds political initiative and is ready to act in an open and politically competitive environment," Putin said at a party congress in St Petersburg yesterday.
"We should not avoid the most pressing issues or be afraid of political discussion and struggle. Every one of us bears a great deal of responsibility, and very much depends on our ability to achieve results and on our effectiveness," he said.
Putin said, "The party has many times responded to major and acute challenges that faced the country and Russian society".
According to the Prime Minister, it was United Russia that helped "put the state together in the early 2000s, stop anarchy and restore the common legal system".
"Our party should be credited for laying the foundation that allowed the country to go through a period of global economic challenges in 2008-2009 without dramatic upheavals and preserve the potential for post-crisis recovery and growth," he said, adding, "Much has already been done, but there is as much to be done."