Medvedev backs Putin to return as Russian president


Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is seen during the inauguration of a monument dedicated to World War I Russian soldiers on June 21, 2011 near the Seine River in Paris, France.


Martin Bureau

Vladimir Putin looks set to return as Russia's president next year after current President Dmitry Medvedev proposed that his predecessor make another run for the country's top job.

Putin, 58, currently prime minister, and Medvedev, 46, backed each other to essentially switch roles in 2012 while attending the ruling United Russia party's annual congress, the BBC reports.

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"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 thousands of cheering delegates at the congress on Saturday, the Guardian reports.

Putin looks likely to return to the presidency next year and potentially lead Russia until 2024, ending months of speculation, reports The Guardian.

Putin was previously president from 2000 to 2008, but was barred by Russia's constitution from a third successive term in office, notes Reuters. He was replaced by Medvedev, but is still considered to wield more power.

"I want to thank you for the positive reaction to the proposal for me to stand for Russian president," Putin said following Medvedev's suggestion that he run for president, the BBC reports. 

"For me this is a great honor," Putin said.

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