`Putin, Medvedev to agree on presidential candidacy`

Russian PM Putin said it was too early to discuss 2012 presidential polls.

Moscow: Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday it was too early to discuss the 2012 Presidential Elections but added he and President Dmitry Medvedev would agree on whether to stand in the polls.

"We will jointly agree, we will think about it, we`ll see," Russian news agencies quoted the powerful Prime Minister, and former president, as saying.

"It`s too early to talk about it," Putin said. "As soon as we talk about it everybody stops working, expects changes, reshuffles."

Any reshuffle of his government was "undesirable" before 2012, he added. Putin stepped down as required by the Russian Constitution in 2008 after serving two consecutive terms as president, but is eligible to run for the office again in 2012.

Apart from his top government job which he took over in 2008, Putin also heads the United Russia party which has a vast majority in Parliament.

Medvedev has not ruled out standing for a second term in 2012 but avoids being specific.

His spokeswoman said in September, in a possible hint he was interested in a second mandate, that his modernisation plans for Russia were not just for one presidential term.

In August, Medvedev said he did not want to run against Putin in the 2012 presidential poll.

"I wouldn`t want a battle between close forces, that would be bad for the country," Medvedev told Russian journalists.

Putin has nearly twice the support of Medvedev in a 2012 showdown, according to a survey in June by the independent Levada polling agency.

Medvedev was elected in March 2008 as the candidate chosen by Putin to whom he owes his political career.

Bureau Report

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