Putin Hints He'll Run for President Again
The Russian prime minister will 'think about it' before 2012 vote
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 3, 2009 3:00 PM CST
Russian President Vladimir Putin arrives attends a question-and-answer session broadcast live by Russian state television in Moscow, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2009.   (AP Photo/Alexei Druzhinin, Pool)
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(Newser) – Vladimir Putin is moving closer to retaking the Russian presidency. In a question-and-answer session with the Russian public, a student asked the prime minister whether he'd like to be president again. "I will think about it," Putin said, adding that "there's still plenty of time" before the 2012 election. Observers have long suspected that Dmitry Medvedev's term as president is a mere placeholder to appease Russian term-limit laws, and Putin did nothing to rebut that.

He also confirmed the notion that, president or not, he'll play a role in Russian politics for a long time, the Guardian reports. Asked by a citizen if he would be spending more time with his family, Putin replied: "Don't hold your breath." On another topic, Putin retreated a bit from Russia's recent IAEA vote on Iran, stating that Moscow had no evidence that Iran was building a bomb and declining to say whether he'd back sanctions.