Putin says he will stand for re-election

Vladimir Putin, Sergei Shoigu
Russian President Vladimir Putin looks on attending the military parade during the Navy Day celebration in St.Petersburg, Russia, on Sunday, July 30, 2017. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, Pool)

RUSSIA (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin says he will seek re-election in next March’s election.

Putin’s statement Wednesday came at a meeting with workers of the GAZ factory in Nizny Novgorod. Several hours earlier, he was asked about his intentions in Moscow and signaled that he would run but stopped short of declaring his bid.

With his approval ratings topping 80 percent, Putin is certain to win a quick victory in the March 18 vote.

Addressing the automobile factory workers, Putin said he couldn’t find a better place and a better moment to announce his candidacy.

Putin has effectively been in power in Russia since 2000.

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