Russia's Vladimir Putin set to run for president in 2012

Current prime minister's contest could open way for former KGB spy to rule until 2024
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Russia's prime minister Vladimir Putin speaks at the congress of Russia's ruling party in Moscow, on September 24, 2011. Russian president Dmitry Medvedev stunningly announced that Putin should return to the Kremlin in 2012 elections for a new six-year mandate (AFP/Getty Images)
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Russia's president Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin make a joint appearance at the congress of Russia's ruling party in Moscow, on September 24, 2011 (AFP/Getty Images)
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Prime Minister Putin said on Saturday he would reclaim the presidency in an election next March that could open the way for the former KGB spy to rule until 2024 (AFP/Getty Images)
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Russia's prime minister Vladimir Putin speaks at the congress of Russia's ruling party in Moscow, on September 24, 2011 (AFP/Getty Images)
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Russia's finance minister announced on Sunday he would step down next year if President Dmitry Medvedev becomes prime minister following Vladimir Putin's expected return to the presidency (AFP/Getty Images)
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Putin's decision to return to the post he held from 2000 to 2008 is likely to cause some nervousness in the West, where he is considered less liberal than Medvedev and more outspoken in his criticism of Western policies (AFP/Getty Images)
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Russia's president Dmitry Medvedev (AFP/Getty Images)
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Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev speaks at the congress of Russia's ruling party in Moscow, on September 24, 2011. Medvedev stunningly announced today that Prime Minister Vladimir Putin should return to the Kremlin in 2012 elections for a new six-year mandate. (AFP/Getty Images)