Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has found a way to stay in power this long, and, as he told his fellow countrymen and -women Thursday, retirement will not be high on his priority list anytime soon. In fact, he could be eyeing another run for the presidency in 2012. –KA


As part of his annual town hall forum, Putin spoke for four hours and fielded 80 questions out of 2 million-plus submitted on a live call-in program, “Conversation With Vladimir Putin — Continued.”

Responding to a question on whether he had any plans to retire and enjoy the life of an ordinary citizen, Putin tersely replied, “Don’t count on that.”

And when asked whether he plans to run for the presidency again in 2012, he said, “I will think about it. There is plenty of time for that.”

Speaking of his “tandem” with President Dmitry Medvedev, Putin said he had “known him for many years, graduated from the same universities, having been taught by the same professors.”

“Those common principles allow us to effectively work together,” he said, responding to the never-ending speculation about which one of the duo is more important and whether a rift between them is possible.

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