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Presidential aide says 'senseless' to speculate about 2012 elections

Arkady DvorkovichMOSCOW, January 19 (RIA Novosti) - Russian presidential aide Arkady Dvorkovich on Wednesday described speculation over who would run in the 2012 presidential elections as "senseless" in an interview with the Gazeta.ru news site.

"The decision of any candidate to run in the 2012 presidential elections will be based on a number of factors, such as the state of the economy, professional achievements and public sentiment," Dvorkovich said.

He said that the remark he made in December in an interview with the BBC that incumbent President Dmitry Medvedev plans to run for a second term was entirely his own personal opinion.

After holding the presidential post for two terms from 2000 to 2008, current Prime Minister Vladimir Putin picked Medvedev as his successor and took the position of prime minister for himself.

Both men have hinted that one of them, but not both, will run in the forthcoming elections. Whoever wins, will be in office for 12 years, as a result of the extension of the presidential term.

Dvokovich said he believes the work carried out by Putin during his term as Prime Minister has been effective.

"The economic situation in Russia has improved over the past two years and it has improved faster than in most other countries, which were affected by the [economic] crisis."

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