Above all, a president should have integrity, Putin says

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin says that if someone wants to become president, he must first of all have integrity.

Putin paid a working visit to one of Russia’s biggest steel producers on Friday. One of the Magnitogorsk Steel Plant workers said he had a young son and asked the former president what is needed to raise a future president.

“For me, the most important quality is integrity, integrity in everything – in relations with friends and family, in relations with colleagues, and with the state,” Putin said. A person who “can’t keep his word must not even be allowed to head any team, let alone the country.”

The prime minister also stressed the importance of professionalism and diplomacy.

Putin’s comments come as analysts and ordinary Russians speculate who will run in next year’s presidential poll.

President Dmitry Medvedev and Putin have made clear that one of them – and only one of them – will run in the presidential elections on March 11, 2012, but it is anyone’s guess as to which one.

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