MOSCOW, June 15. /TASS/. Only Russian citizens may decide who will be at the helm of the country, Russian President Vladimir Putin said during the annual televised question and answer session on Thursday.
Putin answered a question who he intends to succeed him. "First, I’m still working," the president said. Second, "it is up to voters, the Russian people, to decide on this."
"Of course, I will make up my mind, I think there is nothing to be ashamed of when saying about my preferences," the president noted.
"We should not forget that voters, Russian citizens, only they can decide who will lead the regions, a particular region, a city, a district or the country," Putin stressed.
Putin said he views political longevity positively if it corresponds to the country’s laws.
"I see what is going on in other countries, and we know how political processes are going there, know of political longevity there, and this is normal, actually, if it conforms to the democratic procedures and the current legislation," the head of state told reporters after the annual question and answer session (Direct Line with Vladimir Putin).
"No one in Russia has violated laws in this regard," he stressed.
Putin became Russian president in 2000 and served two four-year presidential terms. After that, in conformity with the law, he stepped down from office. In 2008-2012, he was Russia’s prime minister and later he was elected president again, for a six-year term.