Dmitry Medvedev is an also-ran at the launch of his re-election bid

 

Moscow

The stage was set for Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev to fire the starting gun on a bid for a second term yesterday, but a press conference attended by more than 800 journalists was more of a damp squib than a campaign launch.

Mr Medvedev was once again upstaged by the powerful Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who released a wide-ranging interview about his masculine image to the American magazine Outdoor Life on the same day.

An announcement on whether Mr Medvedev will stay on for a second term, or the tough-talking Mr Putin will make a return to Russia's biggest job has not yet been taken. A third, less likely option, is that the two men could run against each othe, in elections that are scheduled for next March.

The Russian President gave a meandering and confused answer to the question of whether he would stand for a second term yesterday.

"We are involved in political work not for the sake of keeping warm and cosy, but in order to achieve results," he said. "Decisions of the kind you are talking about therefore must be made at the right moment, at the moment when all the right conditions are in place... If I make such a decision, I will certainly announce it."

The lack of electioneering led many to wonder why Mr Medvedev had decided to resurrect the tradition of set-piece press conferences, which happened annually under his predecessor Mr Putin, but have not featured since he entered the Kremlin three years ago.

Mr Medvedev never seemed to revel in the format quite as much as Mr Putin, and made several, unsolicited references to his "successor" and to what he would do with his life when he leaves the political arena.

But at the same time, he refused to rule out running, and the event was perhaps designed to show that he was a leader no less capable of facing the media spotlight than his predecessor, and in its own way a subtle form of electioneering.

The President emphasised several times that he and Mr Putin had similar political outlooks and worked as a team. He said, however, that Mr Putin believed the modernisation of Russia was a gradual process, while he thought it could happen more quickly.

Mr Medvedev touched on domestic and foreign policy, as well as local issues.

He accused Nato of "manipulating" UN resolutions on Libya, and said he would not support any similar resolution aimed at Syria.

He also warned of "a very bad scenario that would throw us back to the Cold War", if the US proceeded in its plans for a missile defence system without Russian support.

Mr Putin, meanwhile, was back in the limelight, as his interview with Outdoor Life was published.

In an often semi-coherent exchange, the interviewer congratulated Mr Putin for his popularity among Americans and suggested US presidents would be too scared to be pictured hunting or bare-chest horse riding, because of a surfeit of political correctness.

Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
voicesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping the First Minister up at night?
Arts and Entertainment
Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
booksBut what is it like to be the person who inspires a classic work of art?
Life and Style
techApple has just launched its latest mobile operating software – so what should you do first?
News
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
newsThe 'extremely dangerous' attempt to avoid being impounded has been heavily criticised
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona
filmWhat makes the little man tick?
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: An undercooked end (spoiler alert)
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
Sport
Cesc Fabregas celebrates his first Chelsea goal
footballChelsea vs Schalke match report
Arts and Entertainment
Toby Jones (left) and Mackenzie Crook in BBC4’s new comedy The Detectorists
tvMackenzie Crook's 'Detectorists' makes hobby look 'dysfunctional'
Life and Style
fashion

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SECONDARY SUPPLY TEACHERS NEEDED IN AND AROUND FOLKESTONE

Competitive Salary: Randstad Education Group: Description Randstad Education i...

KS1 and KS2 Primary NQT Job in Lancaster Area

£85 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Preston: Randstad Education is urgently...

SECONDARY SUPPLY TEACHERS NEEDED IN AND AROUND DOVER

Competitive Salary: Randstad Education Group: Description Randstad Education i...

English Teacher - From October Half Term

£120 - £162 per day: Randstad Education Hull: Secondary English Teacher requir...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week