Russian President Vladimir Putin says he has not ruled out running for a fourth presidential term in an election due in 2018.
Asked at a gathering with Western politicians and journalists in Valdai, in northwestern Russia, on September 19 whether he might seek a new term as president when his current six-year mandate expires, Putin said: "I do not rule it out."
Putin served two consecutive four-year terms starting in 2000 before becoming prime minister in 2008 to observe a constitutional limit of two consecutive terms.
Dmitry Medvedev, Putin's longtime ally who succeeded him, initiated a law that extended the presidential term to six years, and Putin overwhelmingly won a third term in 2012 despite major public protests in Moscow against his rule.
He also used the appearance to accuse U.S. Senator John McCain of a lack of knowledge of Russia over the Arizona Republican's criticism
via a contribution
in pravda.ru of Putin's rule.
Based on reporting by Interfax, AP, and Reuters