Putin Praises Zubkov, Ribs Bush

Russian president won't try for third term—at least now
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 15, 2007 1:44 PM CDT
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks at a meeting with foreign political analysts at his residence in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Friday, Sept. 14, 2007. President Vladimir Putin said newly appointed...   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Vladimir Putin heaped praise upon Viktor Zubkov, the obscure bureaucrat he appointed this week as Russia's new prime minister, at a meeting with foreign journalists yesterday, the Guardian reports. The choice of Zubkov as PM over other highly ranked favorites for the post has created suspicion that he may want a weak one-term president in order to return to power in 2012.

Putin dashed rumors that he would change the constitution to seek a third term as president, but said he wishes to keep a role in Russian public life. He also sharply criticized US foreign policy, especially in Iraq, and chided the US government, saying: "I don't interfere in your politics, please don't interfere in ours."