Putin nominated to run for Russian presidency in 2012

Moscow: Vladimir Putin today accepted the ruling party`s nomination as its candidate in the March 4 Russian presidential vote, paving way for his return to the country`s most powerful office after a four-year innings as prime minister.

"I am grateful to (President) Dmitry Anatolyevich Medvedev and to the United Russia congress for nominating me and asking me to run for president of the Russian Federation. Of course, I gratefully accept this offer, thank you," Putin told a party congress here here.

Putin`s expected return to Kremlin could keep him in power through 2024 and make him Russia`s longest ruler since the Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin. Putin was constitutionally barred from standing for a third consecutive term in 2008 and was succeeded by Medvedev, while he became prime minister.

Medvedev agreed to switch roles with Putin at the United Russia annual party congress in September.
While Putin`s backers say he offers stability, liberal opponents accuse the former KGB agent of authoritarianism. "There is no more successful, experienced or popular politician in Russia than Vladimir Putin," Medvedev said in a speech praising his mentor.

Referring to his tandem with Putin and United Russia, Medvedev said: "There is no other team than ours. There simply is not."