Russia`s FSO surrenders website; Putin may return in 2012

Russia`s VVIP protection service has surrendered the website it registered in its name sparking speculations of the official launch of campaign for the return of Vladimir Putin to top Kremlin job in 2012.

Last Updated: Sep 19, 2010, 22:54 PM IST

Moscow: Russia`s VVIP protection service
has surrendered the website it registered in its name sparking
speculations of the official launch of campaign for the return
of Vladimir Putin to top Kremlin job in 2012, a move which has
virtually made Dmitry Medvedev a `lame duck` president.

"The Federal Protection Service (FSO) is recalling its
applications for registration of nine websites in the .rf
Cyrillic domain, which could be seen as part of an election
campaign," Interfax reported quoting FSO spokesman Sergei
Devyatov.

Earlier several Russian newswires had reported that
FSO responsible for the VVIP security has registered in its
name the website `putin2012.rf` in the Russian Cyrillic
domain, while the site `medvedev2012.rf` was still available.

He said nine websites have been surrendered after
detailed analysis. RIA Novosti confirmed that Russian language
`putin.rf` has been now vacated by FSO.

FSO, which once was part of the Soviet KGB, obviously
did not act on its own and this move has virtually made
Medvedev a `lame duck` president, specially at the time when
he is involved in a row with Putin`s political ally and
powerful mayor of Moscow Yuri Luzhkov.

Devyatov said the FSO`s special communications and
information service ensures the functioning of government
websites.

"It had registered 400 domain names in the Cyrillic
.rf Internet zone at the requests from the Presidential
Administration, Government and other federal agencies,"
Devyatov said.

Earlier at his meeting with Valdai Forum of prominent
western experts on Russia Putin had reminded that Roosevelt
had been the US President four times.

Ex-KGB spy Putin had vacated the top Kremlin job in
May 2008 due to constitutional limit of two consecutive terms
to his chosen successor Dmitry Medvedev, a political weakling
at that time.

However, nothing stops him from seeking re-election in
2012 for six year term. Putin`s recent activities, including
during the summer wildfires and his 2,500 long car travel by
Russian Lada car across the remote far eastern areas, clearly
remind of a campaign.

PTI