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Spokesman 'Doesn't Know' If Putin Will Seek New Term

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov (file photo)

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov says that he does not know whether President Vladimir Putin plans to seek reelection in 2018.

"I don't know about that," Peskov said on December 21 when asked whether Putin, in power as president or prime minister since 1999, will seek a new six-year presidential term.

While Putin is widely expected to run and analysts believe that he is carefully planning his political future, Peskov said that the election "is not on the agenda" at this point.

Putin, 64, is likely to be asked the question again during an annual press conference on December 23.

Prominent Kremlin foe Aleksei Navalny announced last week that he intended to run in the election.

The election is due to be held in March 2018, but there has been speculation that the Kremlin could move it up to late 2017.

Based on reporting by RIA Novosti, Interfax, and TASS