Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin was more at ease at this year's meeting with the Valdai International Discussion Club than at previous encounters, an expert said Monday.
Director of the Center for Russian, Eurasian and East European Studies at Georgetown University, Angela Stent, who is one of the founding members of the Valdai Discussion Club, said on the phone from Sochi that when asked about the 2012 presidential election, Putin said he would "follow the Constitution."
"Looking at him and his body language, he obviously feels comfortable in the current situation. But we won't rule out that he would run for president again," said Stent, who is one of the club's founding members.
She stressed that Putin was more complimentary that he had been in the past - whether he was speaking about U.S. President Barak Obama or saying that China was "not a threat" to Russia.
"His tone was somewhat milder that it had sometimes been before," said Stent. "He appeared as a leader who feels the pulse of the nation."
The Valdai Discussion Club, which brings together Russia experts from around the world to meet with their Russian colleagues and politicians, met this year for the seventh time. It is co-sponsored by RIA Novosti, the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, RussiaProfile.org and Russia in Global Affairs magazines and The Moscow News weekly.
SOCHI, September 6 (RIA Novosti)