Natalya Narochnitskaya to represent Vladimir Putin during the debate with Vladimir Zhirinovsky.Russia
RIA Novosti - Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who is running for president in the March 4 elections, will have a political scientist stand in for him in a televised debate with ultranationalist leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky on Tuesday.
Putin will not take part in debates personally because then, his spokesman Dmitry Peskov explained, he would have to take leave of absence.
Putin’s mouthpiece, who is also due to appear February 22 on another central TV station, will be Natalya Narochnitskaya, a former parliamentary deputy who holds a doctorate in history and is president of the Historical Perspective Foundation.
She casts herself as the author of a foreign policy concept for Russia, an expert on Russian national-statist mentality and its harmonization with the philosophy of West European liberalism and an Orthodox Christian scholar.
Putin is to have by-proxy debates with all of the other presidential candidates, including A Just Russia party leader Sergei Mironov, communist Gennady Zyuganov and “independent billionaire” Mikhail Prokhorov.