Moscow, Dec 8 (EFE).- Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday confirmed that he will run for another term in next year’s presidential elections, Russian state media reported.
Putin, who has been in power since 2000, delivered the news at a ceremony in the Kremlin in Moscow to decorate military personnel who have fought in Ukraine.
The Russian leader reportedly nodded when Artyom Zhoga, the speaker of the parliament of the breakaway Donetsk People’s Republic in eastern Ukraine that was illegally annexed by Russia last year, asked him about his plans to run, according to TASS.
Putin is expected to publicly announce his candidacy on Dec. 14, at his annual press conference.
Senate Speaker Valentina Matviyenko on Thursday gave “the starting signal for the election campaign” after the upper house called the polls for March 17, 2024.
A constitutional reform pushed through in 2020 allows Putin, 71, to serve another two six-year terms, keeping him in office until at least 2036.
In recent years, Putin has cracked down on dissent, targeting the country’s independent media and the political opposition with bans and imprisonment.
He has further tightened his grip on power in the country in the wake of its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.
The opposition, which has been banned from parliament, under the imprisoned Alexei Navalny, has decided against boycotting the elections, an approach that other Putin critics such as chess grandmaster Garri Kasparov have backed.
In the coming weeks Russia’s communists and ultranationalists, who have parliamentary representation, are expected to present their own candidates in the coming weeks.EFE