MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said in remarks released on Tuesday that he will soon decide whether to seek re-election in March 2012, and portrayed himself as the agent of change in a country that needs it.
The comments were the latest in a series of assertive remarks suggesting that Medvedev, long seen as little more than a placeholder for his predecessor Vladimir Putin, wants to stay on as president for a new six-year term.
"It is high time for changes," Medvedev said in an interview with China's CCTV ahead of a visit to China for a meeting of the BRICS group of emerging market nations. "He who does not change remains in the past."
Medvedev and Putin have both said they will decide together on a candidate for the presidential election. Many analysts say Putin will ultimately decide whether to run himself, endorse Medvedev or back a third candidate.
Medvedev and Putin have faced pressure from some in Russia's political elite to end the uncertainty.
"I do not rule out that I will run for a new term as president. A decision will be made, moreover, in the fairly near future because ... there is less than a year remaining," Medvedev said.
(Reporting by Alexei Anishchuk; Editing by Steve Gutterman)