Russia's Putin set to return as president in 2012

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin says he has accepted a proposal to stand for president in March 2012.

Addressing the ruling United Russia party's annual congress, Mr Putin and current President Dmitry Medvedev backed one another to switch roles.

The announcements end speculation over which man should run for the top job.

United Russia, which Mr Putin leads, dominates the country's politics and observers say his return to the Kremlin is now all but guaranteed.

He had already served two terms as president before Mr Medvedev took over in 2008. Mr Putin was barred by the constitution from running for a third consecutive term.

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