At a meeting of foreign investors in Moscow, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has promised to boost the country’s social spending. With the next presidential election due in 2012, Putin clearly has the poll in his sights. In fact some voters believe his return to the Kremlin is a done deal.
In a prime time television interview he has defended his intention to seek a third term as president and that he and President Dmitry Medvedev have agreed to switch roles.
“ I have never aspired to this position. In fact I explicitly expressed doubts over my ability to handle such a a huge workload and the enormous responsibility that determines the fate of the nation. But if I set myself tasks I always bring them either to a logical end or make sure they have a maximum impact,” said Vladimir Putin.
While Putin is popular, some Russians fear his return might diminish hopes for political reform and there’s been criticism on the internet that the agreement with Medvedev was undemocratic.