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Putin tops Forbes’ most powerful people list

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-10-30

Russian President Vladimir Putin topped Forbes’ 2013 ranking of the world’s most powerful people on Wednesday, pushing US President Barack Obama into second position for the first time in three years.

Russian President Vladimir Putin climbed to the top of Forbes’ ranking of the world’s most powerful people on Wednesday, stripping US President Barack Obama of the title.

It is the first time in three years that the US president has dropped to second place on the magazine's list, and comes as US-Russia relations hit a new low.

Putin, who has enjoyed 13 years of dominant rule over Russia, was again elected president in March 2012.

Obama, on the other hand, has just emerged scathed from an embarrassing 16-day US government shutdown caused by a budget and debt crisis in Washington.

"Putin has solidified his control over Russia, while Obama's lame duck period has seemingly set in earlier than usual for a two-term president – latest example: the government shutdown mess," wrote Forbes.

From NSA scandal to Syria

In August, Russia granted asylum to former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, who triggered an international diplomatic crisis after leaking classified intelligence documents.

A month later, Putin outmaneuvered the United States again by averting a threatened strike against Syria, after coming up with a plan to strip the country of its stockpiles of chemical weapons.

"Anyone watching this year's chess match over Syria and NSA leaks has a clear idea of the shifting individual power dynamics," Forbes said.

The world’s other most powerful people

Third prize went to Chinese President Xi Jinping, who is expected to rule for a decade in which China is set to eclipse the US as the world's largest economy.

Pope Francis made his debut at number four and German Chancellor Angela Merkel rounded out the top five.

There were 13 newcomers to the list this year, including Samsung Chairman Lee Kun-Hee at number 41 and Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote, the richest man in Africa, in at number 64.

Overall, the list contained 17 heads of state who run nations with a combined GDP of $48 trillion and 27 CEOs and chairs who control over $3 trillion in annual revenues.

Only nine women made the cut despite representing half the world's population.

(FRANCE 24 with wires)

Date created : 2013-10-30

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