Vladimir Putin to stand for re-election as Russian president

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Russian President Vladimir Putin is seeking a fourth term in office -which would keep him in the Kremlin through 2024, if he wins another six-year term as expected.

After first taking power in 2000, Putin has served three terms as president, with a four-year break when he served as prime minister in 2008-2012.

Putin's announcement came during his address to workers at an automobile factory in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia's fifth largest city.

"Yes, I will run for the president of the Russian Federation", Putin said, as quoted by TAS agency. "I'm sure that everything will work out for us".

Veterans of past campaigns - Communist chief Gennady Zyuganov, ultranationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky and liberal leader Grigory Yavlinsky - all have declared their intention to run.

They are likely to be joined by Ksenia Sobchak, a star TV host who is the daughter of late former St Petersburg mayor Anatoly Sobchak, who was Mr Putin's boss in the 1990s.

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Russia's main opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, has been formally barred from standing, because he was found guilty of embezzlement - a charge he claims was politically motivated.

Whilst next year's election in March is devoid of real suspense about who will win, what follows is more unpredictable as attention will turn to what happens after Putin's final term - under the current constitution - ends. REUTERS/Sergei KarpukhinPutin is lauded by allies as a father of the nation figure who has restored national pride and expanded Moscow's global clout with interventions in Syria and Ukraine.

The secretary of Russia's Central Elections Commission, Maya Grishina, told reporters that according to law, the president does not have to take a leave for the period of the election campaign.

"The decision will be taken and announced in the near future", said Putin, without making it clear just how soon.

Putin has sought to appeal to the country's youth after thousands of young Russians took to the streets earlier this year to protest alleged corruption among the elites, targeting Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev among others.

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