Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Thursday that after the 2012 presidential elections he would immediately take a bath, according to Xinhua.

"I shall go and have a wash, in the hygienic sense of the word, but also in the political sense," he told a regional conference of the ruling United Russia party in Yekaterinburg after being asked what he would do immediately after the election.

"After all, the campaigns which we will have to go through, we will need to busy ourselves with hygiene," Putin was quoted by local media as saying.

RIA Novosti news agency said the remark was Putin`s cryptic hint on his possible participation in the elections.

Under the Russian constitution, Putin, who served two consecutive presidential terms in 2000-2008, will become eligible to run for a new term in March 2012.

Both Putin and President Dmitry Medvedev have indicated that one of them, but not both, will run in the election.