Medvedev wants to run for second term – aide

President Dmitry Medevedv is acting as a man who is planning to run for a second term, but the final decision has not been made, his aide Arkady Dvorkovich has said.

“Judging by what I have heard from President Medvedev, he does not rule out the possibility of taking part in [the 2012 presidential] election, and he definitely wants it,” Dvorkovich told the website of the BBC’s Russian service on Friday.

“The president who plans to quit in a year, acts in a different way,” Dvorkovich said. To anyone who is observing what Medvedev is doing it is clear that “he wants to stay for the second term” to fulfill tasks he specified in 2008, the aide said.

At the same time, the final decision has not been made, Dvorkovich stressed. Taking into account the friendly relations between Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, they may discuss who runs for presidency later, he noted.

Dvorkovich has repeated what both Medvedev and Putin have said several times when answering questions about their plans for the future. They have promised to take “a coordinated decision” as the election draws closer. This decision would depend on the results of their work in social and economic fields.

The last time Medvedev spoke about this topic was in an interview to Polish media published on Monday. He made it clear it was a “normal thing” for any politician to think about a second term in office.

“As for me, I do not naturally exclude such a job," Medvedev said. But he stressed it is possible only if “the situation is normal and stable” and if he enjoys “an appropriate support” from people. He does not rule out that “some of his colleagues” could also take part in the political process. The most important thing is “to preserve the continuity of power and policy” in any circumstances, he said.

The 2012 election was also one of the main topics during Medvedev’s meeting with chief editors of the Russian media on Sunday. During “a free and frank discussion” they asked him “who could be elected” president in 2012. “I answered their question,” the president said on his Twitter account, but he did not reveal the details of his response.

Putin told CNN’s Larry King in a recent interview that both he and Medvedev “got used long ago” to answering the question about the next presidential election.

In fact, speaking at a meeting with business and scientific circles at Stanford University, Medvedev said: “If the plans I formulated start implementing, if I have the support of our people… and if I have the desire to continue, then I do not rule this out.” The people’s support is a key factor “for any politician,” he said, especially for one who may run for a second term.

Observers have noted several times that fulfilling the tasks set by Medvedev may require another presidential term. “The point is not just the second term,” the president’s press secretary Natalia Timakova told RT in September. The modernization agenda put forward by Medvedev is supported “by both the majority of society and the government,” she said. “That’s why solving these problems goes beyond the framework of one presidential term.”

In April, Medvedev answered a question about whether he would run for a second term, in an interview with the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten. He did not rule out the possibility, but said that citizens should approve of his work first. “At least the results of my work must be acceptable for our citizens,” he said. And the aim is “to achieve the result, not just participate,” the president added.

“We will see,” Medvedev then said. Putin echoed the words in a June interview with French journalists. “We are now in 2010,” he said. “We will see as we approach 2012.” According to the prime minister, he and Medvedev have decided “not to rush around” and divert attention in advance – at the expense of their main job. “The results will show what we are going to do in 2012,” he said.

Russian sociologist Vladimir Inozemtsev says it is possible that there will be some disagreements between the president and prime minister, but this will be a reflection not of the deterioration of their personal relationship, but rather arguments within the Russian elite.

I think we have seen quite good relations between them; they really are partners and friends,” he said. “But there are a lot of people behind the both politicians – behind Mr. Putin and Mr. Medvedev – who definitely push their own agenda, definitely have their own interests, which in some cases can contradict each other’s. I think that if we do see some kind of quarrel between Mr. Medvedev and Mr. Putin, it will be a quarrel not between two politicians, but rather between two branches of the Russian elite.