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09:14 GMT +3 hours21 December 2014
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Russia

Putin to keep Novo-Ogaryovo residence after new leader elected

Russia
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MOSCOW, December 4 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's next president due to be elected March 2 will take up residence at a new home as Vladimir Putin is set to stay at his Novo-Ogaryovo manor near Moscow, the Kremlin property chief said on Tuesday.

Putin, whose second term expires in spring 2008, enjoys an impressive popularity rating but has ruled out plans to run for a third term, saying it would violate the Constitution, which does not provide for more than two successive presidential terms.

"We have somewhere to accommodate a new head of state," Vladimir Kozhin told the Itogi weekly magazine.

There has been broad speculation about his "successor," with First Deputy Prime Ministers Sergei Ivanov and Dmitry Medvedev seen as the most likely candidates. The pro-Kremlin United Russia party has promised to announce their candidate for the presidential race in mid-December.

Kozhin declined to say who could become president but said it would be a new leader. "I confirm: there will be a new president," he said.

Putin's late predecessor, late Boris Yeltsin, and his family also retained their luxurious Barvikha residence outside Moscow.