MOSCOW, December 29 (Itar-Tass) —— Prime Minister Vladimir Putin will have a busy schedule in 2012 both as prime minister and a presidential candidate.
He has already admitted that has no plans to take a leave of absence for the duration of the election campaign. He will be helped in his campaigning by the People’s Headquarters headed by film director Stanislav Govorukhin. Putin has somewhat stepped away from the traditional party-based campaigning strategy and decided to focus on the All-Russia People’s Front.
Putin considers himself to be the strongest opponent in the upcoming election. However he stressed that other candidates and he would have to go through a complex and responsible period.
“One has to be precise and clear to people and make no mistakes,” Putin said.
He dismissed reports about the existing “Kremlin projects” and “sparring partners” in the presidential election.
“Sparring partners are in general not unnecessary, but I see that printed media calls almost everybody sparring partners. Maybe Zyuganov is also my sparring partner? Or Mironov? Or Prokhorov Mikhail Dmitriyevich? This is not so,” Putin said in an interview with Russia 1 television.
Commenting on his task as a candidate for Russian presidency, Putin noted that it is “premature” to speak about the number of election rounds or some victory scenario. “The law envisages a certain procedure of the presidential election. And the citizens of the country, acting within the framework of that election legislation, demonstrate their will, and it is the expression of popular will that we must be guided by,” the prime minister stressed.
Putin is likely to make a large number of domestic trips next year due to both his premiership – Putin has the habit of being in the midst of things and in the know – and the election.
In addition, he is scheduled to meet with the heads of state and government of other countries from the CIS, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, the common economic space, and Eurasian Economic Community.
Putin’s working day often ends well after midnight but he never forgets sport. This year he learned to skate and started playing ice hockey.
The head of government likes to try new things. For example, he tried himself out as an archaeologist in the southern Krasnodar Territory when visiting an excavation site at the place of the ancient Greek town of Phanagoria. He joined other archaeologists in cleaning artifacts from dirt and then scuba-dived in the Taman Bay to lift two amphorae.
Putin is also an advocate of wildlife protection efforts, and always finds time for that. In 2011, he helped scientists watch the snow leopard. On his way to Sakhalin, he visited a wildlife reserve in Khakassia where work was in progress to protect the population of this animal under his supervision as chairman of the Russian Geographical Society.
The prime minister also performed for Radio Seven on Seven Hills and sang the jazz version of the popular song “Blueberry Hill”, which had earlier sung at a charitable concert in St. Petersburg in 2010.
His numerous hobbies are actively discussed on the Internet, but he himself is in no hurry to join any of the social networks. However Putin is well aware of the worldwide web’s potential and keeps saying that it should be used more actively by the authorities.
Putin, who will leave the government headquarters next year, said he would sad to do so because he liked to be a prime minister as it requires direct involvement and responsibility. “It is very concrete. Naturally, the government is responsible for the economic policy of the country and is directly accountable. I like this work,” he said.