MOSCOW -- Russian President Vladimir Putin, expected to step down next month, says he was never tempted to stay on for a third consecutive term.
Speaking to the more than 1,300 Russian and foreign reporters who attended his final annual news conference Thursday in Moscow, he said the constitution allowed only two terms and "I would never infringe the constitution."
"Of course, I would like to work," the Russian leader said. "But, there still is the possibility to do so," Novosti reported.
Putin is believed ready to step aside after the March 2 presidential polls in favor of his hand-picked successor, First Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.
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