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August 10, 2022
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Putin announces run for president in 2012

Medvedev could take on the prime minister job if ruling United Russia wins parliamentary elections in December.

MOSCOW – Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin says he has accepted a proposal to stand for president in March 2012, according to the BBC. Addressing the ruling United Russia party’s annual congress, Putin and current President Dmitry Medvedev backed one another to switch roles. The announcements end speculation over which man should run for the top job.

United Russia, which Putin leads, dominates the country’s politics and observers say his return to the Kremlin is now all but guaranteed. He had already served two terms as president before Medvedev took over in 2008. Putin was barred by the constitution from running for a third consecutive term.

News of Putin’s candidacy, which had been widely expected, was greeted with dismay by the country’s small liberal opposition. Boris Nemtsov, a deputy prime minister under Boris Yeltsin, likened Putin to Alexander Lukashenko, the long-serving autocratic president of Belarus.

“I want to thank you for the positive reaction to the proposal for me to stand for Russian president,” Putin told delegates after Medvedev suggested he should be a candidate. “For me this is a great honour.”

Putin also indicated that Medvedev could become prime minister following the 4 December parliamentary vote, introducing a “new, effective, young, energetic management team”. Medvedev had earlier accepted a proposal that he head the party’s list of candidates in the elections and spoke of his “readiness to assume practical work in the government” in the future.

Backing Putin for president, he said: “I think it would be correct for the congress to support the candidacy of the party chairman, Vladimir Putin, to the post of president of the country.”

In his own speech, Putin also said he wanted to see economic growth in Russia increase to 6-7% in the near future. In the next five years, Russia should be among the five most powerful economies in the world, he said, according to the CNN. Putin also set out the task of fully rearming the Russian armed forces in the next five to 10 years.

Putin said he was sure the United Russia party, whose election ticket will be headed by Medvedev, would win December’s parliamentary elections.

He also warned of possible, unpopular measures to cope with the global financial turmoil. “The task of the government is not only to pour honey into a cup, but sometimes to give bitter medicine,” Putin said. “But this should always be done openly and honestly, and then the overwhelming majority of people will understand their government.”

‘Dissidence’

But Russia’s finance minister announced he would step down next year if Medvedev becomes prime minister following Putin’s expected return to the presidency, rte.ie reported. Alexei Kudrin made clear he was unhappy with Putin’s decision to ask Medvedev to be prime minister after the election. “I do not see myself in a new government,” Kudrin, 50, said in comments released in Washington, where he was meeting global policymakers. “The point is not that nobody has offered me the job; I think that the disagreements I have (with Medvedev) will not allow me to join this government.”

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