Putin, who served two consecutive four-year terms starting in 2000, became prime minister in 2008 to observe a constitutional limit of two consecutive terms. He remained in charge as prime minister, with his loyal associate, Dmitry Medvedev, serving as a placeholder.
Medvedev initiated a law that extended the presidential term to six years, and Putin won a third term in 2012 despite major public protests in Moscow against his rule.
Putin addressed his future plans when challenged by former French Prime Minister Francois Fillon during an international conference. Fillon said he would not reveal whether he planned to run for president unless Putin answered the same question.
"And if I answer, will you?" Putin responded.