Putin has 'nothing to say' about possible successor

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.