Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, announced his divorce with wife of 30 years Lyudmila Putina on Thursday.

Putin, 60, and Putina, 55, attended a performance of La Esmeralda at the State Kremlin Palace on Thursday night and announced their divorce in an interview following the show. “It was a joint decision: we hardly see each other, each of us has our own life," Putin said.

The reporter from state TV channel Russia24 began by asking about Putin and Putina’s thoughts on the ballet. The reporter then moved to questions of whether the rumors about them living separately were true – Putin and Putina confirmed these rumors before announcing their divorce.

Putina explained that one of the most difficult things about the marriage was her dislike of the limelight – the ballet was the first time the two were seen together in public since Putin’s third inauguration on May 7. However, Putina went on to say that she and Putin would remain friends.

It was long speculated that Putin and his wife were having marital problems. In 2008 it was rumored that Putin had secretly divorced his wife and was planning to marry Alina Kabaeva, a former Olympic gymnast more than 30 years his junior. Putin, who has always kept his personal life as private as possible, denied these rumors. The newspaper that reported this story Moskovsky Korrespondent shut down hours after Putin’s response. It is speculated that it was an action meant to appease the president.

Putin and Putina married in July of 1983 and have two children – Mariya, 28, and Yekaterina, 26. Divorce papers have yet to be drawn up, a presidential representative said.