Putin to Run for Russian Presidency in 2012

By: AP
By: AP

Vladimir Putin

MOSCOW (AP) -- Vladimir Putin is going to run for president of
Russia again.

The United Russia Party nominated Putin as its candidate for the
2012 elections Saturday.

It also approved Putin's proposal that current President Dmitry Medvedev (dih-MEE'-tree med-VYEH'-dyev) take over as prime minister.

That's the job Putin currently holds.

Term limits forced Putin to depart the Kremlin in 2008. Medvedev
was Putin's choice to succeed him.

Putin's prospects for reclaiming the presidency appear strong,
given his popularity and mastery of Russia's political system.

In 2012, the presidential term will be extended to six years from
four, and Putin would be eligible to serve two terms.

That means he could rule Russia until 2024.

Even as premier, Putin has remained the country's pre-eminent
political figure, portraying himself in appearances on state-controlled TV channels as a bold adventurer and a vigorous advocate of the country's global importance.

Russia's presidential election is scheduled for March 4.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The White House says the Obama
administration's "reset" of relations with Russia will continue
if Vladimir Putin returns to the presidency.

National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor said Saturday
that "the reset has always been about national interests and not
individual personalities."

Putin was sometimes harshly critical of the United States and
relations with the U.S. eroded during his second presidential term.

President Dmitry Medvedev, elected in 2008, was Putin's protégé and
hand-picked successor but cultivated a more pro-Western image.

President Barack Obama made restoring ties with Russia a

Medvedev signed the New START treaty with the U.S. limiting nuclear arsenals, opened Russian routes for U.S. supplies to Afghanistan and agreed to toughen UN sanctions against Iran.

Prime Minister Putin remained Russia's most powerful political
figure during Medvedev's single term in office.

Medvedev is expected to become Putin's prime minister after the March election.

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