MOSCOW, April 17 (RIA Novosti) – Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday he would first need to marry off his ex-wife before thinking of himself and a finding a new first lady.
“First, I need to marry off my former wife Lyudmila Alexandrovna, and then think about myself,” Putin said during a live question and answer session with the public on Thursday after being asked when the country would see a new first lady.
Putin became the world's most eligible bachelor last June, having divorced his wife Lyudmila after 30 years of marriage. Both said the reason for their split was the president’s work, which consumes most of his time and requires a very public lifestyle.
The announcement put an end to years of speculation about the strength of the Putins’ marriage, fueled by the first lady’s increasingly rare appearances in public in recent years.
Last September, Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov categorically denied online rumors that the Russian president remarried in a church ceremony at a secluded monastery in central Russia.