gettyimages 868135066 Putin announces that he will seek re election as Russian president

Russian President Vladimir Putin enters a hall to meet with members of the Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights at the Kremlin in Moscow on October 30, 2017. (KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images)

MOSCOW  — Vladimir Putin declares his intention to seek re-election as Russian president.

Putin’s statement Wednesday came at a meeting with workers of the GAZ factory in Nizny Novgorod. Several hours earlier, he was asked about his intentions in Moscow and signaled that he would run but stopped short of declaring his bid.

With his approval ratings topping 80 percent, Putin is certain to win a quick victory in the March 18 vote.

Addressing the automobile factory workers, Putin said he couldn’t find a better place and a better moment to announce his candidacy.

Putin has effectively been in power in Russia since 2000.

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