Putin, whose second term expires in spring 2008, enjoys an impressive popularity rating but has ruled out plans to run for a third term, saying it would violate the Constitution, which does not provide for more than two successive presidential terms.
"We have somewhere to accommodate a new head of state," Vladimir Kozhin told the Itogi weekly magazine.
There has been broad speculation about his "successor," with First Deputy Prime Ministers Sergei Ivanov and Dmitry Medvedev seen as the most likely candidates. The pro-Kremlin United Russia party has promised to announce their candidate for the presidential race in mid-December.
Kozhin declined to say who could become president but said it would be a new leader. "I confirm: there will be a new president," he said.
Putin's late predecessor, late Boris Yeltsin, and his family also retained their luxurious Barvikha residence outside Moscow.
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Any response would likely boomerang on Russia – the partnership between Rosneft and ExxonMobil is a case in point. The United States has hit Russia with a third round of sanctions. This time the Americans went with a higher caliber weapon, targeting Russia’s biggest energy companies (Rosneft and Novatek) and banks (VEB and Gazprombank).