President Dmitry Medvedev said in remarks released Tuesday that he will soon decide whether to seek re-election in March 2012, and portrayed himself as the agent of change in a country that needs it.
The comments were the latest in a series of assertive remarks suggesting that Medvedev wants to stay on as president for a new six-year term.
"It is high time for changes," Medvedev said in an interview with China's CCTV ahead of a visit this week to China for a meeting of the BRICS group of emerging market nations. "He who does not change remains in the past."
Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin have both said they will decide together on a candidate for the presidential election. Many analysts say Putin will ultimately decide whether to run himself, endorse Medvedev or back a third candidate.
Medvedev and Putin have faced pressure from some in Russia's political elite to end the uncertainty.
"I do not rule out that I will run for a new term as president. A decision will be made, moreover, in the fairly near future because … there is less than a year remaining," Medvedev said.
He also emphasized that his power was supreme to that of Putin.
"We have different posts, different roles: I am the president of Russia, the guarantor of the Constitution, the head of the state," he said. "The president forms the government, manages a lot of processes in the country."
Medvedev said Russia's $1.5 trillion economy needed to drift away from Putin's economic model if it wanted to change.
"What was good 10 years ago isn't good today," he said. "At some point we had to strengthen the foundations of our state and gather the parts of the destroyed economy together, but we are not going to build state capitalism. This is not our choice."