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Putin says it’s hard for him to say who is going to succeed him

December 19, 2013, 13:51 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Russia's president named several politicians in Russia who he believes are influential

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© ITAR-TASS/Denis Vyshinskiy

MOSCOW, December 19, 13:47 /ITAR-TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that he found it hard to answer a question about his successor. “I have nothing to say,” Putin told a “grand” news conference in Moscow.

Asked to comment what contemporary politician he would call to be almost as influential as himself, Putin said there were many such politicians and they were well-known. The politicians mentioned by Putin included Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov, LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky; Sergei Mironov, the leader of the Just Russia party, and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

Putin said that he shared many ideas suggested by Zyuganov and Zhirinovsky.

“It was me who invited Sergei Mironov to come to Moscow. He has grown into an independent and serious federal politician. We also have the party of power headed by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. He has great experience of government work but now he has plunged headlong into economic work,” the Russian president said.

“Ratings are certainly drawn by professionals. But life is much more complicated,” Putin went on to say.

He also said that new opposition leaders had emerged in Russia. “Naturally, their main task is to bite the boss. It is standard world practice, a trivial trick. They are trying to jump out of their trousers,” Putin emphasized.

“But they are running the risk of being left without pants. It is good if they have what to offer. Otherwise, the situation can be pretty much confusing,” Putin warned the opposition.

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