Russian President Vladimir Putin says he is in love.
Putin, who is divorced, hinted during a marathon press conference on December 18 that he is in a romantic relationship.
After a female journalist asked Putin about his personal life, referring to him as Russia's "No. 1 Bachelor," he said he was asked a similar question recently by a friend from Europe who wanted to know, "Do you love someone?"
Putin said he told the friend, "Yes," and again answered "yes" when the friend asked whether Putin's love was reciprocated.
"Everything's OK, don't worry," Putin said.
Putin, 62, did not name the object of his love.
In 2008, a Moscow newspaper reported that Putin was to marry Alina Kabayeva, a former Olympic rhythmic gymnast who was then a ruling party lawmaker.
Putin denied the report, angrily criticizing the intrusion into his personal life, and the newspaper shut down shortly afterward.
Putin and his former wife, Lyudmila, said last year that their marriage of more than 30 years was over, and Putin's spokesman said in April that they were formally divorced.
Putin told the press conference that he maintains "good, friendly relations" with Lyudmila.
With reporting by AFP