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Putin Says ‘Not Decided’ If He Will Run Again For Presidency In 2018

Russian President Vladimir Putin said he has not decided whether to seek re-election in the March 2018 presidential vote, Russian state-run media report.

Putin is widely expected to seek to secure a new six-year term in the March election, but he said there is "still time" to decide, according to TASS and Interfax news agencies.

"I have not decided yet if I should continue my work in this capacity,” TASS on July 21 quoted him as saying.

“I will see. The election will take place in 2018. There is still time ahead of the election race. We will see," he said.

TASS and Interfax indicated he made the comments in a television interview on July 20 and again at a meeting with students at an educational center for talented children in the southern city of Sochi.

Putin is widely expected to run in the 2018 election. He is popular and has tightened control over the political system through legislation and law-enforcement actions that critics say have rolled back democracy and basic rights.

Putin was also quoted as saying he will not amend the constitution to change the presidential term limit, which is set at two consecutive six-year terms.

Putin first became president in 2000. In 2008, he swapped positions with his protégé, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, although he effectively remained in power. Putin then returned to the presidency in 2012.

Based on reporting by TASS and Interfax

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