Russian President Medvedev rules out running against Putin

London: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has said that he would like to seek a second term in office, but ruled out running against Vladimir Putin at next year`s presidential election, saying it`s "hard to imagine".

In an interview with the `Financial Times`, President Medvedev said reports that there was a growing rivalry between the two men were "absolutely inappropriate", and that he would not run for a second term if the Russian Prime Minister seeks a return to the Kremlin.

"It is hard to imagine that for one reason at least. The thing is, Vladimir Putin and I, after all, to a significant degree represent one and the same political force.

Competition between us could undermine the tasks and the aims that we have been realising in recent years," he said.

Insisting that there had been no fallout with his 58-year-old predecessor Putin, the 45-year-old President said: "To believe some sort of rift is deepening between us is absolutely wrong."

"I do not think that disagreements between us are growing," he added, claiming that he had only ever meant to advocate gradual change in electoral legislation to ensure a separation of power.

Medvedev, however, said he would announce soon whether he would run for a second term which this time will run to six years. "I think any leader who occupies a post such as president simply must want to run. But it`s another question whether he will make that decision or not," he said.

In April, Medvedev released a statement saying that he was indeed considering contesting the election – set for March next year – and would decide on it "rather soon".

The next day Putin said that he could also run, in what was seen as a public rebuke to his prot?g?. "Neither myself nor Dmitry rule out that each of us could stand for election. We will take into account the realities of the current situation at the moment of the elections."