Page last updated at 17:03 GMT, Tuesday, 15 September 2009 18:03 UK

Medvedev won't rule out new term

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev
Some think Mr Medvedev wants to assert independence from Mr Putin

Dmitry Medvedev has refused to rule out running for a second term as Russia's president, Russian news agencies say.

He said "fate" had decreed his first run for office, and he would not "guess in advance or rule out anything".

President Medvedev's comments come amid speculation over his ambitions and those of his powerful mentor and predecessor, Vladimir Putin.

Last week Mr Putin hinted that he was thinking of coming back in 2012, when Mr Medvedev's current term expires.

Mr Putin added that the two men - who he said were "of the same blood, with the same political views" - would not compete, but would reach an agreement on who would run.

Mr Putin, who is Russian prime minister, was constitutionally barred from running for a third consecutive term as president in 2008 polls and anointed Mr Medvedev as his successor.

But analysts are divided over whether President Medvedev is simply Mr Putin's puppet in office, or whether their partnership conceals growing tensions, with Mr Medvedev straining to assert greater independence.

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