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Putin Says He'll 'Think About' Running For Fourth Term

Russian President Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said he will "think about" running for a fourth term as president in the election scheduled for March 2018.

Speaking at a public gathering near Lake Baikal in the Russian Republic of Buryatia on August 4, Putin, 64, made the comment in response to a video call by a local resident who said the people "are asking you to run for reelection in the next ballot."

The caller identified himself as a veteran of World War II.

Putin, who has ruled Russia either as president or prime minister since 2000, is widely expected to seek and win a fourth term in the election.

Elections in Russia are heavily managed, with the authorities strictly controlling who is able to compete, access to the central media, the ability to campaign, and the vote tallying procedure.

Russian election authorities have said that leading opposition politician Aleksei Navalny will not be allowed to run in the election because he stands convicted of felony embezzlement.

Based on reporting by TASS and Interfax