Medvedev will decide "soon" on 2012 re-election bid

Other News Materials 18 May 2011 18:35 (UTC +04:00)
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said Wednesday
Medvedev will decide "soon" on 2012 re-election bid

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said Wednesday he had not yet decided whether to run for re-election in 2012 - but that he would make a decision soon. If he runs again, it is could set up a head-to-head contest with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, dpa reported

"If I make a decision about participating in the presidential election, I will make an announcement, and you will not have to wait very long," Medvedev said at a televised news conference.

Medvedev answered question from Russian and international journalists for about two hours. The topics ranged from arms control to his professional plans, with an emphasis on the latter.

"I have no doubt that sooner or later I will stop being president," Medvedev said. "When that time comes ... I will definately teach, because I like it, because it's interesting, and it's a worthwhile job."

Russian media and political observers have speculated in recent weeks on a possible conflict between Medvedev and Putin over which of the two would run for president in 2012.

Both Putin and Medvedev are members of the United Russia political party, which holds a monopoly on political power in Russia.

Medvedev said that if he decide to run he hopes to get the support of the "same political forces" that put him into office in 2008.

Putin served as Russia's president from 1999 to 2008, and polls show he is much more popular than Medvedev. The two leaders have generally avoided criticizing each other, although in recent months differences on several policy issues have emerged.

"It is true that we see eye-to-eye on most things, and our approaches to key issues about the developement of the country are very close," Medvedev said. "But our views are not identical."

Medvedev cited the country's modernization as a area where their opinions differed.

"He has said that modernization should be a calm, measured process. I believe that we have the ability and the strength to modernize much more quickly."