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Russian president Vladimir Putin Alexei Nikolsky via AP

Russia's next presidential election set for March

The election will take place two years after Russia annexed several Ukrainian regions.

RUSSIA’S UPPER HOUSE of parliament has set March 17 next year as the date for the next presidential election, in which longtime President Vladimir Putin is widely expected to run again.

In a meeting televised live, the senators unanimously approved the date in a decision that “practically kicks off the presidential campaign”, according to the head of the chamber, Valentina Matvienko.

Putin, who has been in power in Russia either as president or prime minister since 2000, has not officially announced if he will stand in the vote, but is widely expected to do so.

Under constitutional reforms he orchestrated, Vladimir Putin is eligible to seek two more six-year terms after his current one expires next year.

The election will take place two years after Russia launched what it calls a special military operation in Ukraine in February 2022 and later annexed the Ukrainian regions of Lugansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia.

The election “will be a sort of culmination of reunification” for the regions, Matvienko said.

– © AFP 2023