Putin says 4-year term too short for Russian president

President Vladimir Putin, nine months away from the end of his second and final four-year term in office, believes the Russian presidency should serve a longer period, he said in an interview released Monday.

"Four years is a fairly short time," Putin said in the transcript of an interview with reporters from Group of Eight countries before this week's G-8 summit in Germany.

"It seems to me that in today's Russia five, six or seven years would be acceptable, but the number of terms still should be limited."

Putin did not specify whether he would seek to have the presidential term lengthened while he remains in office. He has consistently rejected suggestions that the constitution be amended to allow the president to seek more than two consecutive terms.

Russia holds presidential elections in March 2008. Putin has not publicly stated who he would prefer to see succeed him - an endorsement that would carry immense influence.