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Putin Will Consider Running for President Again

VOA News 03 December 2009

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin says he will think about running for the Russian presidency again in 2012, and says his decision will hinge on Russia's recovery from the global financial crisis.

Mr. Putin's comments came Thursday, in his annual public question-and-answer session, broadcast live across Russia's 11 time zones. When asked about a timetable for retirement from public life, he told one questioner "don't hold your breath."

Mr. Putin became prime minister in 2008, following two consecutive terms as president. Analysts inside and outside Russia have speculated he might again run for the presidency when President Dmitri Medvedev's term expires in 2012.

The marathon call-in session touched on dozens of topics, chief among them terrorism and the global economy. He said the threat of terrorism remains high following last week's deadly train bombing southeast of St. Petersburg.

Twenty-six passengers were killed and about 90 others wounded in the attack.

The prime minister also admonished the United States for failing to abolish Cold War-era restrictions imposed to penalize the Soviet Union for refusing to allow Jews to migrate freely.

Addressing economic concerns, Mr. Putin said Russia has moved past the worst phase of the global crisis. However, he said the government will have to spend more money in the short run to support the country's weakened economy.

He also addressed a long list of domestic concerns, including police corruption, worker wages and social benefits.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.



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