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Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday refused to enter into speculation over who could be his successor, saying he had "nothing to say" about the issue.
"About the successor I have said nothing and there is nothing to say," Putin said at his annual news conference.
Putin has ruled Russia since the start of 2000, including a stint as prime minister from 2008-2012, but most analysts are at a loss to say who could be his successor.
The Russian strongman has himself not ruled out standing for a fourth term as president in elections due in 2018.