London: Russia risks wasting six years if Prime Minister Vladimir Putin returns to the presidency, former USSR leader Mikhail Gorbachev has warned.
Reacting to the news that Putin will run for office in 2012, Gorbachev said Russia was at an "impasse" and that he doubted Putin could bring change, BBC reported.
Putin said at a meeting of the ruling United Russia party that he would stand again for president in the March 2012 polls.
If Putin is elected, current President Dmitry Medvedev is expected to replace him as prime minister, reports say.
Putin served two terms as president before Medvedev took over in 2008. He was barred by the constitution from running for a third consecutive term, BBC said.
"We can assume that there will be no movement forward if there are not serious changes along the lines of a replacement of the entire system," Gorbachev wrote in the opposition Novaya Gazeta newspaper, which he partly owns.
Mikhail Gorbachev, born March 1931, served as the last head of state of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) from 1988 till its dissolution in 1991.