President Vladimir Putin of Russia has confirmed he will run for re-election next year, a move that can secure his leadership until at least 2030.

Rewarding a medal to veterans of war in Ukraine on Friday, Putin confirmed he would run “for the post of president” again in the 2024 election.

“I will not hide that I have had different thoughts at different times but it is now time to make a decision,” Putin said. “I understand that there is no other way.”

Next year’s presidential election will be held over three days from March 15-17.

Five major parties have been allowed to submit a candidate for the 2024 vote without collecting signatures.

Following a constitutional reform in 2020, Putin could stay in power until at least 2036.

Citing survey figures produced by the All-Russian Center for the Study of Public Opinion, Tass news agency reported last week that 78.5% of Russians trust the incumbent president, while 75.8% approve of his activities.

Putin told the Russia Calling business forum on Thursday that the country’s gross domestic product was set to grow 3.5% this year, recovering from a 2.1% contraction in 2022.

“Today, GDP is already higher than it was before the Western sanctions attack.”

Putin, 71, has run Russia for roughly 24 years, alternatively serving as prime minister and president since 1999.

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