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Putin Complains Medvedev’s End of Winter Time Creates ‘Problems’

President Vladimir Putin said an unpopular decision by Dmitry Medvedev when head of state to stop changing the time for the Russian winter also bothers him.

“There are problems,” Putin said at a news conference today in Moscow. “I face them myself.” One difficulty is that it stays dark until late in the morning, he said.

International sporting bodies have criticized the change because it increases the time difference with London to four hours and with major European cities to three hours, Putin said. Russia will host the 2014 Winter Olympics Games in Sochi on the Black Sea.

Russians left clocks unchanged in October for a second year. During a call-in show in December 2011, Putin answered numerous questions about the decision, which left the country permanently on summer time and meant darkness lasts until 10 a.m. in the depths of winter.

“When Medvedev took the decision, he based it on a significant part of the population believing the previous system affected their health and the farming industry,” Putin said. “It turned out that there are more people unhappy with the change than those who called for it.”

Medvedev, who replaced Putin as president for four years from 2008 because of a constitutional ban on three consecutive Kremlin terms, now serves as prime minister after stepping aside for the Russian leader to return to the top job.

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