DATE=7/12/2000 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=RUSSIA / PUTIN (L-O) NUMBER=2-264340 BYLINE=EVE CONANT DATELINE=MOSCOW CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: President Vladimir Putin has told foreign and Russian reporters that he supports democratic reforms, but that his first priority is to strengthen the power of the state. Moscow Correspondent Eve Conant reports Mr. Putin warned against what he called - fostering anarchy in Russia. TEXT: President Putin told journalists that he was ready to support democratic and market reforms in Russia, but only to the extent that they can be kept free of corruption and lawlessness. /// ACT PUTIN IN RUSSIAN IN FULL AND FADE UNDER /// Mr. Putin asks - would the measures aimed at strengthening the state lead to the return of totalitarianism? He says - I am deeply convinced that a liberal economy is not possible without the development of democratic freedoms and institutions. But - he warns -do not confuse democracy with anarchy, we will continue develop a civil society with political parties and mass media. But Mr. Putin said he would not let anyone, in his words - cultivate anarchy. His interview late Tuesday came the same day that investigators and security service agents confiscated documents from a company that owns a television network, radio, and newspaper outlets, which have been critical of President Putin and Moscow's military campaign in Chechnya. President Putin said in order fulfill his priority of building a strong state, his administration must fight corruption. He compared corrupt officials to fisherman who make successful catches in muddy waters. /// SECOND ACT PUTIN IN RUSSIAN IN FULL AND FADE /// Mr. Putin says - there is a Russian saying to fish in dirty waters; there are people who have caught a lot and want to keep the situation unclear in order to catch more. He says - this is not acceptable for the Russian people or our partners abroad. Mr. Putin argued that in order to develop a liberal economy Russia must protect property rights, and fight corruption - we must have a strong, effective state - he said. A key part of Mr. Putin's reforms since his election last March has been to attempt to strip regional leaders and governors of much of the autonomy they were granted during the Yeltsin era. Mr. Putin has complained that regional officials have been breaking constitutional laws and flouting Kremlin authority. /// THIRD ACT PUTIN IN RUSSIAN IN FULL AND FADE /// He says - in order to have a strong state we must have an effective judicial system. It is not so important how strict the punishment is, what is important is that it is unavoidable. Mr. Putin added that he forsees Russia developing along the lines of Japan or Germany after World War Two. He also talked about his plans for attending the summit of leading industrial nations in Japan later this month. He told reporters he expects to be treated as an equal. /// FOURTH ACT PUTIN IN RUSSIAN IN FULL AND FADE /// He says - we are not expecting anything or asking for anything. I would like to express my attitude to my colleagues from other developed countries in this way: It would be ideal if we were granted most favorable conditions, if other countries treated Russia no worse than their other partners. Mr. Putin says such a relationship would be - ideal for Russia. (SIGNED) NEB/EC/GE/RAE 12-Jul-2000 07:39 AM EDT (12-Jul-2000 1139 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .