Putin still to decide whether to run for presidency in 2012

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has said he will make the decision whether to run or not in the presidential elections in 2012 depending on the situation in Russia.

“Nothing will be done that contradicts law and the Constitution,” Putin told participants of the 7th Valdai Club Meeting in the Black Sea resort of Sochi on Monday.

It is premature to speak about 2012, Putin said. He added that he and President Dmitry Medvedev were doing their jobs.

“And I think, we are doing this effectively,” he added.

The prime minister also cited the example of US President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who was elected four times, as “it did not contradict the Constitution.”

“Neither me nor President Medvedev will do anything contradicting Russian laws and the Constitution,” he said. He was answering a question about whether his decision to run in 2012 and possibly win “threatens the development of Russia’s political system,” RIA Novosti said.

All the actions in this direction will not damage the development of the democratic process, Putin stressed. Both the president and prime minister will act in 2011 or in the beginning of 2012 “according to the real situation in the country, what we have done and the sentiments in the society,” he said.

Commenting on Russian-US relations, Putin described President Barack Obama’s plan to build better relations with Moscow as “genuine.” The Russian leadership is paying attention to the US initiatives, Putin said. He added that the US is an important political and economic partner for Russia, Interfax said.

During the conversation with analysts, Putin touched many sensitive topics, including the possible reburial of Vladimir Lenin, the founder of the Soviet state. Itar Tass quoted Putin as saying, “There is proper time for everything. Russian people will decide what to do about it.”

“History abhors fussing,” he added.

Putin was speaking with participants of the Valdai Club on the forum’s final day. The meeting of political scientists and international specialists on Russia from 15 countries was held in St. Petersburg and Karelia.

The main topic of discussions was “Russia: History and Future Development.” The annual forum has been hosted since 2004 by the RIA Novosti news agency, in association with the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, the Russia Profile and Russia in Global Politics magazines, and the Moscow News newspaper.

This year, the Valdai Club launched a new Valdai Index project “aimed at measuring Russia's economic, social and political development,” RIA Novosti reported. The project aims to define the quality of Russia’s progress in the most important political and economic spheres.

Sergey Borisov, RT