"There are, of course candidates, we have recently discussed them with the head of state and several other members of the government. There are at least 3-4 contenders," Putin told reporters on the sidelines of the APEC summit in Lima, adding he would settle the issue as soon as he was back in Moscow.
Russia's Investigative Committee said on Tuesday that Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev was caught in the act of taking a $2-million bribe for a positive appraisal that allowed Russian energy company Rosneft to buy the state's shares of Bashneft oil company.
Ulyukayev has been charged with taking an especially large bribe and extortion, and placed under house arrest until January 15. Putin has dismissed Ulyukayev from the post of economy minister citing lack of confidence. The ex-minister has not admitted his guilt.