Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Monday he is determined to return to the Kremlin to consolidate the foundations of the country’s political system, facilitate economic diversification and see things through to their logical conclusion.
“Strengthen the fundamentals of our political system and democratic institutions, create conditions for dynamic development and diversification on a new basis, as well as conditions to raise the living standards,” Putin said in an interview with three national TV channels seven weeks before parliamentary elections scheduled for December 4.
“This is precisely what we will be doing.”
“When a country is in a difficult, complicated situation, just emerging from a crisis and finding its feet, elements of stability in the political sphere are of vital importance,” Putin said.
Putin and President Dmitry Medvedev have agreed to switch jobs. Medvedev proposed Putin for president at the ruling United Russia party convention in late September, saying he was ready to head the government in case of Putin’s victory.
Putin said if he was elected president, there would be “no abrupt changes” to what Medvedev had done.
Asked why he had decided to run for president in 2012, Putin said he liked to see things through to their logical end.
“If I take something up, I make sure I see it through to its logical end or, as a minimum, produce the maximum possible effect,” Putin said.
He said he had never “sought that position.”
“Moreover, at one time, when I received that offer, I expressed doubt whether I should do it, meaning the huge amount of work and the colossal responsibility involved,” the prime minister said.
Addressing his virtual opponents, Putin said they should propose their own program and “prove on the practical level that they can do a better job.”
Responding to critics saying that a Brezhnev-like stagnation era was around the corner, Putin said the Soviet era should not be rejected lock, stock and barrel, pointing out that there were plenty of “positive developments even in the 1990s.”