Russian president Vladimir Putin said Wednesday he will seek another term. He was meeting with workers at the country's historic manufacturer, GAZ (Gorkovsky Avtomobilny Zavod), in Russia's Nizhny Novgorod on Wednesday. They are broadly supportive of the Kremlin's policies and have repeatedly run for president, behaviour critics say is a ruse to create the illusion of genuine political choice. If he wins, the Russian leader will have to choose whether to leave Dmitry Medvedev as prime minister; whoever holds the prime minister's post is often viewed as the president's heir apparent, Reuters noted.
President Vladimir Putin has thus made an official announcement about his readiness to run for president for the fifth term.
Mr Medvedev had the presidential term extended to six years and then stepped down to let Mr Putin reclaim the presidency in 2012.
Putin is widely expected to win reelection and extend his dominance of Russian politics.
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Mr Putin's approval ratings top 80%, meaning a comfortable first-round victory in the March poll is likely. Blue-collar workers and state employees form the core of his support base.
"Thank you for your work, for your attitude to your jobs, your factory, your city and your country", Mr Putin told workers.
Earlier in the day, the president attended the Russian Volunteer 2017 award ceremony in Moscow, where he asked the audience whether they would support his decision to run.
He said he would decide shortly if he would seek another six-year term. "Because we have elections coming, so you can invite me in February - I can still do it in February", Putin said alluding to his participation in the presidential election in March 2018. He's expected to make the move after the upper house of parliament formally launches the race later this month.