Medvedev, Putin Hold Day-Long Meeting Along Volga

Posted August 17th, 2011 at 8:45 am (UTC-5)
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Russia's two top leaders, President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, have spent time fishing and boating on the Volga river in a rare, day-long private meeting.

Tuesday's visit in the Astrakhan region was not made public until Wednesday and was believed to include discussions on which of them will run for president.

With just seven months left before the March elections, neither man has announced his candidacy for the 2012 presidential race. Both Medvedev and Putin have hinted that one of them, but not both will run, and they are expected to make a decision soon.

Mr. Putin held Russia's presidency from 2000 to 2008 before naming Mr. Medvedev as his hand-picked successor in order to comply with a constitutional ban on a third consecutive presidential term. With Mr. Medvedev elected, Mr. Putin assumed the role of Prime Minister, but he will be eligible to run for the presidency again in 2012.

Many expect Mr. Putin to try to reclaim the presidency after Mr. Medvedev's term expires.

In the past, Mr. Medvedev has stated he would like to run for a second term as president. But he is reluctant to compete for the position against his predecessor, saying that a competition for the presidency between himself and Prime Minister Putin would not be “the best scenario” for the country. He also denied a growing rift between them, saying they represent the same political force.