Putin says he will run for president again

Moscow: Vladimir Putin will seek another term in office in next year’s presidential election scheduled on March 18, state media reported.

“Yes, I will run as a candidate for the Russian presidency,” he said on Wednesday during his meeting with veterans and workers at the automotive manufacturer GAZ (Gorkovsky Avtomobilny Zavod) located in Nizhny Novgorod.

There is no better occasion to announce the candidacy, he told them. GAZ is a power symbol of Russia’s domestic automotive industry since it was founded in the 1930s. It produced armaments and survived Axis bombings during World War II.

“Our country is its people, people like you,” the Russian leader told workers.

“It’s workers, scientists, engineers, designers, teachers and doctors,” he said, adding that with the “active involvement” of its people, Russia “can deal with any, even the most complex challenges it faces.”

“Russia will go only forward and no one will ever stop it,” he said amid thunderous applause.

Putin hinted at running for re-election earlier in the day at a Moscow event. Addressing youths at Russian Volunteer 2017 award ceremony, he asked them whether they would support his decision to run. The answer was a unanimous “Yes.”

“When I make [the decision], I will certainly keep in mind our conversation today and your reaction,” Putin said. He added that “the motive behind [this very responsible decision] can be only the desire to make people’s lives in our country better and make the country itself more powerful and protected.”

Putin has remained popular leader despite economic hardships and tensions Russia faced with the West.