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September 30, 2014

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Russia’s Putin says he may seek 4th presidential term

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Alexander Zemlianichenko / AP

Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures while speaking to John Daniszewski, the Associated Press’s senior managing editor for international news, during an AP interview at Putin’s Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2013. Putin sought to downplay the current chill in the U.S.-Russian relations and said that the two countries need to cooperate on a range of issues in the interests of global stability.

VALDAI, Russia — Russian President Vladimir Putin says he could run for a fourth presidential term in 2018. If he serves four terms, that would keep him in power for about a quarter century and make him the nation's longest-serving leader since Josef Stalin.

Putin, who served two consecutive four-year terms starting in 2000, became prime minister in 2008 to observe a constitutional limit of two consecutive terms.

Putin continued calling the shots as premier with his longtime ally, Dmitry Medvedev, serving as a placeholder. Medvedev initiated a law that extended the presidential term to six years, and Putin won a third term in 2012 despite major public protests in Moscow against his rule.

Asked Thursday whether he would seek another term in 2018, Putin said that he doesn't exclude that.

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