Vladimir Putin has decided to run for president in March, a move that would see him stay in power until at least 2030, Reuters reported, citing six sources.
The agency notes that the Kremlin chief believes he must lead Russia through its most dangerous period in decades.
Putin, who succeeded Boris Yeltsin as president in 1999, has already been president longer than any other Russian ruler since (Soviet leader) Joseph Stalin, surpassing even Leonid Brezhnev’s 18-year tenure, Reuters recalled.
On October 7, Putin turned 71 years old.
The sources, who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity, said news of Putin’s decision was already spreading and that his advisers were already preparing for Putin’s campaign and election.
For Putin, who according to opinion polls enjoys the approval of 80% of Russians, the election is a formality if he runs: with the support of the state and state media, and in the almost complete absence of public dissent, he is certain to win. Reuters notes.
“The decision has been made – he will run,” said one of the sources familiar with the planning. The planned announcement of the news will appear within a few weeks, another source said, confirming a report last month by the Kommersant newspaper.
Another source confirmed that a decision had been made and that Putin’s advisers were preparing. Three other sources say the decision has been made: Putin will run.
Although many foreign diplomats, spies and officials say they expect Putin to remain in power for the rest of his life, there has so far been no concrete confirmation of his plans to run for president in March.
“Russia is facing the combined power of the West, which is so great that significant change would not be appropriate,” one of the agency’s sources said.
Putin has not made any announcements that he will run for another term and no campaign has yet been announced, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said today in a comment to the Reuters publication.