Putin says he may run for re-election in 2018

MOSCOW, (PNA/Xinhua) — Russian President Vladimir Putin said it was possible he would run for re-election in 2018.

Putin made the remarks when talking with former French Prime Minister Francois Fillon Thursday at the annual gathering of the Valdai Club, a high-level forum gathering Russian and foreign officials and scholars.

“I can’t rule it out,” Putin told Fillon after the latter said, “I wouldn’t answer this question because you didn’t answer a similar question,” in reply to Putin’s question whether he would run for French presidency in the future.

“Nor do I,” said Fillon, who was French prime minister between 2007 and 2012.

It was the first time that Putin, whose term will expire in 2018, made such statement following his returning to the Kremlin for a third term last May.

The 60-year-old strongman served as president from 2000 till 2008, and then prime minister for four years.

Under Russia’s Constitution amended in 2008, a presidential term is extended from four to six years.