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Putin Won't Rule Out Fourth Presidential Term

Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) at a meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Valdai, Russia on September 19
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.

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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 of Putin's rule.

Based on reporting by Interfax, AP, and Reuters