MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Vladimir Putin is unlikely to announce his candidacy for president this year if he makes a decision to run in the 2018 elections, Kremlin Chief of Staff Sergei Ivanov said Sunday.
“I think, knowing Vladimir Vladimirovich well enough, that if he stands again, he will not announce that this year. Why would he?” Ivanov said in an interview with the Financial Times.
The official noted that Grigory Yavlinsky, leader of the opposition Yabloko party, had already announced he would run for president, which is “a false start, to be honest.”
The next presidential elections in Russia are due to be held in March 2018. Russian former Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin on Thursday put forward an idea of calling early presidential elections.
Putin has already served as Russian president for two consecutive four-year terms starting from 2000. He was re-elected in 2012 for a six-year term after then-President Dmitry Medvedev signed into law a bill extending the length of Russia’s presidential term.