Running for presidency with Putin counterproductive: Medvedev

By IANS/RIA Novosti,

Moscow : Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has said that running for presidency simultaneously with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in 2012 elections would be counterproductive.

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“Together with Vladimir Putin (both my colleague and old friend), we represent to a great extent the same political force,” Medvedev said in an interview with the Financial Times newspaper published Monday.

“In this sense, competition between us could be detrimental to the goals and objectives we have been implementing over the past few years,” he said. “It would not be the best scenario for our country and for the current situation.”

In line with the Russian Constitution, Putin, who served two presidential terms in 2000-08, will become eligible for a new presidential run in 2012.

Medvedev also said any president must have the desire to run for the second term, but the desire alone is not enough to make the final decision.

“Making the decision is a different story, and sometimes decisions do not meet the desires,” he said.

Speculations about who is going to be on the ballot of the ruling United Russia party during the election campaign – Medvedev or Putin – have been running wild both in Russia and abroad.

Medvedev dismissed rumours of growing rivalry with Putin, saying that they might not have similar opinions on certain issues and methods of achieving specific goals, but resolving existing differences only helped to move forward.

“But to think that some gap (because of that) is widening between us, in my view, is absolutely wrong,” the president said.

Medvedev pledged to continue his economic and social reforms in the country if he was elected again.