( RIA Novosti ) - Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday he has no plans to take any government post or transfer presidential powers to the Cabinet.
"If anyone thinks I am planning to make a move to the government and transfer fundamental powers there, this is not so. Russian presidential powers will not be reduced, as long as this is down to me," Putin told a news conference after the 20th EU-Russia summit.
There has been speculation that Vladimir Putin could again become president in 2012, when he would be constitutionally able to stand for election. However, the president earlier said he would head the list of the main pro-Kremlin party United Russia at the December 2 parliamentary elections, and that he could become prime minister in 2008 if the party gains a majority.
Political analysts have speculated that, in such a scenario, Putin may attempt to strengthen the position of prime minister, weakening the role of the country's president.
The Russian leader reiterated that he would not change the Constitution and stay for a third presidential term.
"I am not going to adapt the Constitution to myself, and in line with the country's basic laws I will not run for a third presidential term," he said, adding that he has not yet chosen a role for himself after his presidency expires in 2008.
At the same news conference, Jose Socrates, prime minister of Portugal, which currently holds the rotating EU presidency, said the European Union was pleased with Moscow's plans to invite OSCE observers to the parliamentary polls due on December 2.
"The EU is pleased with what President Putin said about plans to invite OSCE observers to upcoming elections in Russia. This is important news, this is something that will enhance confidence between the parties," the Portuguese premier said.