Investigative journalist Politkovskaya, who gained international recognition for her outspoken criticism of the Kremlin and claims of state-backed atrocities against civilians in Chechnya, was gunned down in the entrance of her Moscow apartment building in October 2006.
Russia's Prosecutor General Yury Chaika announced in August the arrest of 10 suspects in the Politkovskaya case, suggesting the journalist had been killed by an organized crime group, which included former and serving police and security officers.
In an interview with Time magazine on December 12, President Putin reiterated that Politkovskaya did not "play any significant role in the political life of Russia" and called speculations about her being dangerous for Russian authorities "nonsense."
He said the murder of the journalist was a provocation against the authorities and she was chosen and killed as a "sacral offering," but the authorities "would nevertheless do everything possible to complete the investigation."
Putin, whose presidential term expires in March 2008, said he is concerned by the murders of journalists and divided them into two categories.
According to data from the international rights organization Reporters Without Borders, 21 journalists have been murdered in Russia since 2000.
The Russian president said some journalists establish links with businesses, including criminal ones, begin protecting the interests of one group against another and become part of the struggle for their own financial wealth.
"It is naturally that there are victims in such a fight. This is the first category," Putin said adding that those, who genuinely fight against corruption, merging of the State machinery and business or against criminal organizations, form the second category.
"These are certainly heavy losses... I am not ruling out that Russia has witnessed such cases," the president said adding that he considers it a personal loss because such people work in Russia's interests.
President Putin said he respects unselfish and honest people regardless of whether they are politicians or journalists.
"Truly independent people, who are unafraid of spoiling relationships with bosses and of losing their jobs, and who write exactly what they think, are very few," Putin said.
On Wednesday Time declared Russian President Vladimir Putin Person of the Year 2007 for increasing stability and enhancing Russia's role in the world. Other nominations included former U.S. vice president Al Gore and British writer J.K. Rowling.