MOSCOW — Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev says he wants a second term, but won't stand against Vladimir Putin.
Medvedev said in an interview with the Financial Times broadcast Monday by Russian television stations that he and Putin wouldn't face one another in the election next March because their rivalry would hurt the country.
Both men have said repeatedly that they will decide later which of them will run for president in the vote. Putin, who shifted into prime minister's seat in 2008 after serving the constitutional limit of two consecutive terms, is seen as more powerful and is widely expected to reclaim the job.
Medvedev said he would announce his decision later. He added that he and Putin sometimes have different approaches, but denied that there was any kind of rift between them.
Medvedev's statements challenging Putin's legacy have stoked speculation about tensions in the ruling tandem, but some observers see it merely as an orchestrated attempt to prevent Medvedev from looking like a lame duck.
Medvedev also said that he has enjoyed working with President Barack Obama. "I can tell you openly – I would like Barack Obama to be re-elected president of the United States," he said.
Medvedev also strongly reaffirmed Moscow's opposition to a Western-backed draft United Nations resolution on Syria condemning its government for its crackdown on protesters.