Two days after Putin saying he might contest in the polls
The Kremlin dropped the strongest hint yet that President Dmitry Medvedev may stand for re-election in 2012 saying the modernisation programme he has drawn up will take far longer to accomplish than his first four-year term.
“The modernisation agenda proposed by the head of state… goes beyond a single presidential term,” said Mr. Medvedev's press secretary Natalia Timakova in an interview with the English-language TV channel Russia Today. She added that the government led by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin shared this view.
Mr. Medvedev's top priorities, according to Ms. Timakova, include such long-term goals as controlling corruption, bringing security to violence-torn North Caucasus and re-orienting the energy-dependent economy towards science-based development.
The comment came two days after Mr. Putin suggested he could return to presidency in 2012. Asked at the Valdai discussion club on Wednesday if his return to the Kremlin could do harm to the Russian political system, Mr. Putin said:
“U.S. President Roosevelt was voted in four times in a row… That was not in conflict with the U.S. Constitution. Neither I nor President Medvedev will ever do anything that would go against the Constitution of the Russian Federation, the country's main law.”
Mr. Putin stepped down in 2008 saying he did not want to sidestep the Constitution, which allows only two straight presidential terms. Under the Constitution, Mr. Putin is free to run again in 2012.
Mr. Medvedev and Mr. Putin have both stated on several occasions that they will sit down and decide who of the two will run, based on their performance, the situation in the country and the people's mood.