Vladimir Putin will seek reelection as Russian president

Vladimir Putin  Mikhail Metzel  TASS

President Vladimir Putin confirmed Russia's worst kept political secret on Wednesday, saying he would run for re-election in March 2018 - a contest he seems sure to win comfortably and extend his grip on power into a third decade. He declared his election plans at a meeting with veterans and workers of the automobile plant GAZ.

The words of Vladimir Putin were greeted with applause. "Thank you for your work, for your attitude to the case, for the country", he continued.

TASS reminds that Vladimir Putin's current term expires on May 7, 2018.

Putin's participation is entirely unsurprising and for a long time has been taken as a given, with the only intrigue over when exactly he would announce his campaign and what kind of issues he would run on.

Putin draws much of his support from outside the two biggest cities - Moscow and St Petersburg - where many credit him with raising their living standards despite an economic crisis Russian Federation is only now recovering from.

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Russia's forthcoming election is due on March 18, 2018.

Putin has sought to appeal to the country's youth after thousands of young Russians took to the streets earlier this year to protest alleged corruption among the elites, targeting Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev among others.

On September 24, 2011, Medvedev invited United Russia to support Putin's candidacy for the 2012 presidential elections.

Putin has been either the President or the Prime Minister of Russian Federation since 2000. The Kremlin's been delaying the announcement to minimize distraction from an election campaign whose outcome isn't in doubt. The president has never given a specific answer to the question.

"We must, of course, strengthen our defenses, improve our political system, so that the living standard is developed in accordance with how the whole world is developing", Putin added.

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