Vladimir Putin is dreaming of ending his career and going travelling in his retirement, he revealed today.
The Kremlin strongman unexpectedly hinted at life beyond Kremlin politics at a time when he is widely tipped to be planning to stand for a new six year term starting in 2018.
"I want to successfully complete my career," said 64 year old Putin who also hinted he wished he had more time for his secretive private life.
He told metal workers at a plant in Chelyabinsk that he dreams of being able to travel to see "nature" and "historical sights".
Known for his passion for the Siberian outdoors, the president admitted that he ''loves travelling a lot" but complained his many working trips show him little more than meeting rooms in different cities.
"Today all my trips are limited to arriving to an airport, then getting to some room, then back to the airport," he complained, adding sarcastlically: "I somewhat travelled somewhere.
"Of course, I'd like to travel in a different manner, to see nature, some historical sites."
Asked about hobbies for the future, the judo black belt added secretively: "There is one, but I'd rather keep it to myself."
He advised fourth year university student Alexey Trofimov that it was important to leave time for his private life.
Divorced Putin - whose hidden partner is believed to be glamorous 33 year old ex-Olympic gymnast Alina Kabaeva - suggested he was not always good at splitting his time between work and leisure.
"How do you know that I manage to do everything?", asked Putin.
"A while ago I noticed - I believe you know it too, but you're too shy to say that - the more you do, the more you manage to do.
"Specially if you build your work schedule in the proper way. This is so, believe me."
He told the student: "And you have to deal with your private life. Get married, have kids."
If Putin completed a new full six year term he would be 71 when he retired.
He has as yet done nothing to nominate a successor who could stand in 2018, allowing him to take his pension sooner.