Report: Medvedev seeks business backing for election

July 13, 2011 13:00


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MOSCOW - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has privately signaled to business leaders that they must decide whether they support him for a second term or want Vladimir Putin back in the Kremlin, a report said on Wednesday.

The report in the financial daily Vedomosti suggested Medvedev is angling for the backing of Russia's most powerful tycoons in a half-hidden struggle with Putin, now prime minister, over which of them will run next March.

Medvedev has in the past hinted strongly he wants to run but will not do so without a green light from Putin, who has suggested he will decide in the coming months whether to return to the top office after a four-year hiatus or endorse his protege for a new term.

Vedomosti cited one of the 27 business leaders who met Medvedev behind closed doors on Monday as saying he had indirectly but clearly urged them to decide between him and Putin.

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