Kremlin advisors urge Medvedev 2012 bid
A think-thank that advises President Dmitry Medvedev Wednesday urged him to run for a second term in 2012 on a platform of modernising Russia that contrasts him from his mentor Vladimir Putin.
The question of which of Russia's two leaders will run for president one year from now has remained an open question that attracts almost daily debate.
Both Putin -- who is widely seen as Russia's de facto leader despite his official status as prime minister -- and his presidential successor Medvedev have vowed not to run against each other and decide the issue in private.
But the Institute of Contemporary Development -- set up by Medvedev when he came to power in 2008 -- urged the Kremlin chief to come out fighting by painting a dark picture of Russia's future under a new Putin term.
"One year from now, we will not only be choosing between programmes and personalities, but (also) between the start of changes and the end of hopes, between a future and new hard times."
The 95-page report added that "the next election cycle still has a chance of starting Russia's true modernisation -- deep and systemic.
"Preparations for this... are well within the current president's reach despite the massive obstacles and limitations," the report went on.
It also warned that Medvedev's removal from the Kremlin would see Russia return to "deepening stagnation" and "social and political anarchy".
Medvedev has prided himself on a modernisation campaign and Russian media interpreted the report as the first indication of how Medvedev intended to base a future campaign.
The Interfax news agency wrote in an analysis that Medvedev would be "resetting democracy" -- a reference to the "reset" in political ties that Russia enjoyed with the United States in recent years.
The Vedomosti business daily said an updated version of the report will be unveiled at a May 17 ceremony whose list of invited speakers includes Medvedev himself.
But Putin's top spokesman told Vedomosti that he did not see the publication as part of a future election campaign.
"No one has yet declared their candidacy," Dmitry Peskov told the business daily. "It is too early. This is not the time."
© 2011 AFP