Putin's dog gets a satellite collar

MOSCOW Fri Oct 17, 2008 9:28am EDT

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin watches his dog Koni that wears a GPS device on its collar in the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow, October 17, 2008. REUTERS/RIA Novosti/Pool

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin watches his dog Koni that wears a GPS device on its collar in the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow, October 17, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/RIA Novosti/Pool

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MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's black labrador dog, Koni, Friday was given a collar that will allow her master to track her movements by satellite.

Putin interrupted a meeting of officials who were discussing the virtues of the Russia's new satellite global positioning system GLONASS to monitor cattle and wild animals.

"Can I use it for my dog?," he asked, according to the account of the meeting posted on the government website www.gov.ru

Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov, a close friend of Putin, said the collar, which weighs 170 grams (6 ounces) and is equipped with transmitters, had been ready for Koni some time ago and now was the time to test it.

It was immediately slipped on the dog.

"She looks sad," Ivanov said. "Her free life is over."

"She is wagging her tail. That means she likes it," Putin said.

The government has promised to make GLONASS, initially designed for use by the Russian military, available for broad civilian public. But few gadgets employing it are as yet available in the market.

(Writing by Oleg Shchedrov; Editing by Richard Balmforth)

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