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Putin vows to run as independent candidate in 2018 race

Russia’s forthcoming election is due on March 18, 2018

MOSCOW, December 14. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin said at his annual news conference on Thursday he will run in the 2018 presidential election as an independent candidate, but expects to have support of forces sharing his views on the country’s development.

"This will be a self-nomination," Putin said. "I expect to have support of those political forces (parties and public organizations) that share my view on the country’s development and trust me. I certainly expect this very much," he said.

"I expect a widespread support of the Russian citizens," the president added.

Putin won the 2012 presidential election as a candidate from the United Russia party.

The Russian Federation Council (upper house of parliament) will set a date for the presidential election at the December 15 meeting.

The post of the Russian president, elected according to direct suffrage, was introduced based on the results of a referendum on March 17, 1991. Any citizen not younger than 35 and who has been a permanent resident of Russia for at least 10 years, is eligible to hold the office of head of state.

Russia’s forthcoming election is due on March 18, 2018. The Federation Council is to declare the date officially between December 8 and 15, as Upper House Speaker Valentina Matviyenko said earlier.