Vladimir Putin offers to assist United Kingdom in Sergei Skripal poisoning inquiry

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"(According to data) as of 10.45 am Moscow time, 73,432,312 people voted (in the Russian presidential election on March 18), the turnout reaches 67.49 percent", Bulayev said.

Exit polls suggest Mr Putin, 65, would take around three-quarters of the vote meaning he will not face a second run-off election.

"As for the tragedy that you mentioned, I found out about it from the media", he said.

One of Putin's fiercest critics, protest leader Alexei Navalny, was barred from running in the election because of a financial crimes conviction that he said was trumped up.

The Times also reported Russian senior diplomat Alexander Shulgin said on Saturday that Russia had discontinued its chemical weapons production when the Soviet Union collapsed.

Vladimir Putin now has a stronger hold on Russian Federation - and stronger place in the world - thanks to an overwhelming mandate for yet another term as president.

It also claimed that its own website became the target of a hacking attack from 15 different countries before the polls opened, TASS reported. "I believe this is a pattern of behaviour we have seen".

The president's plan for Russia's development, which was outlined in Putin's address to the Federal Assembly, has already been covered by the relevant instructions, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

The big push to get the vote out has been aided by a social media campaign.

Similar videos from polling booths across the country purportedly show more ballot stuffing.

Selfie competitions, giveaways, food festivals and children's entertainers were laid on at polling stations in a bid to entice voters.

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- "Denuclearise North Korea" - Japan's Foreign Ministry said Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had congratulated Putin and they agreed to work together for North Korea's denuclearisation.

Great-grandmother Valentina Ivanova, 76, explained to CNN in Moscow why she was voting.

The British government has also pledged to re-examine 14 deaths on United Kingdom soil following a report that they could have been carried out by Moscow or the Russian mafia.

Britain and Russian Federation are also locked in a diplomatic dispute over the spy poisoning incident, and Washington is eyeing new sanctions on Moscow over allegations it interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, something Russian Federation flatly denies. In both cases, Moscow has dismissed the accusations of involvement in the attacks.

SERGEI Skripal's poisoning could end up sending shockwaves through English football - with Theresa May pondering a tough new crackdown on Vladimir Putin's oligarch pals.

In fact, he may be banking on confrontation with worldwide players this election.

Sunday's vote was also the first in Crimea since Russian Federation seized the region from Ukraine. Annexing the Crimean Peninsula in 2014 redefined Russia's role on the world stage and marked the beginning of new, heightened tensions with Western powers.

Crimea and Russia's subsequent support of separatists in eastern Ukraine led to an array of USA and European sanctions that, along with falling oil prices, damaged the Russian economy and slashed the ruble's value by half.

He added: "We are ready for cooperation and said that immediately".

Overseas voting at diplomatic missions attracted queues.

Ultra-nationalist firebrand Vladimir Zhirinovsky took around 5.66 percent, former reality TV presenter Ksenia Sobchak was on 1.67 percent, while veteran liberal politician Grigory Yavlinsky received just over 1 percent of the vote.

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