Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday said he was not going to contest for the top Kremlin post in 2008 in violation of the constitution, but hoped to "influence" the country even after leaving office.
"I have already said that although I like my job, the Constitution gives me no right to run for a third term," Putin said answering questions from the nation in the course of his annual 2.55-hour-long TV date with Russia.
According to the Russian statute, one and the same person cannot hold the office of the president for more than two consecutive terms.
"I think I will manage to maintain the most important thing for a politician - your trust. And, using this, even without the leverages of presidential powers, together we can influence the life in our country," Putin underscored.
Putin said that he would be relinquishing his office with confidence in the country's future. He, however, underscored the need to end disparity in the society and bridge the gap between "too rich and too poor" for the sustained growth and development of Russia.