Putin Will Run for President: Medvedev Stepping Aside
He will likely lead Russia through 2024
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 24, 2011 7:04 AM CDT
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, left, embraces Prime Minister Vladimir Putin Saturday.   (AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Yekaterina Shtukina, Presidential Press Service)
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(Newser) – He wasn't honing his image as an oh-so-buff Renaissance man for nothing: Vladimir Putin will again run for president in Russia next year, and the odds are that he will lead the nation through 2024, reports the Guardian. Current President Dmitry Medvedev ended months of Kremlin speculation today with the announcement. Medvedev will step aside from the presidency and perhaps take over Putin's role as prime minister after the March elections.

"I think it's right that the party congress support the candidacy of head of the government, Vladimir Putin, in the role of the country's president," Medvedev told a gathering of the ruling United Russia party today. (His voice "cracked with emotion," the New York Times notes.) The move means that Medvedev essentially has served as a place-holder over the past four years for Putin, who was not eligible under the Constitution to run for a third consecutive term in 2007.