MOSCOW – President Vladimir V. Putin announced on Wednesday that he’d search for a fourth term as president of Russia in a vote arranged for March, an election he’s expected to win handily.
He made the long-anticipated announcement on to the floor of a GAZ Group motor vehicle factory in the northern industrial town of Nizhny Novgorod, delivering a short statement in the seemingly spontaneous yet carefully choreographed method he favors for key public appearances.
It started with a factory employee climbing onto the level create for the celebration to ask Mr. Putin if he’d run for re-election, expressing, “Today in this hall everybody, without exception, helps you. Give us a gift, announce your decision!”
With the hall erupting in cheers of “Gaz supports you!” Mr. Putin said he’d run. “There is no better space no better celebration to announce this,” he said. “I’ll manage for the presidency of the Russian Federation.”
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Mr. Putin is expected to cruise to re-election, not least as a result of his immense popularity and the remarkable barriers to outsider applicants.