Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks at the Gorky car factory in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, December 6, 2017. (Photo from the Kremlin)
MOSCOW, Dec. 7 (Xinhua) – It is very likely that the president Russian Vladimir Putin will secure a new term in the 2018 elections as he has broad support from the ruling United Russia party and society. However, domestic problems and external pressure could be his real test.
Putin on Wednesday announced his expected offer for a fourth presidential term in March during a visit to a car factory in the city of Nizhny Novgorod, 400 km east of Moscow.
While Russia faces the arduous task of developing its economy while defending national interests against the West, Putin seems to be the only option. If he predictably wins the elections, his strong political figure will continue to lead the world's largest country until 2024.
Putin has shown that much can be done and he has always done everything in his power. ability to protect the people and their country from the problems, said Vyacheslav Volodin, president of the lower chamber of the Parliament of the Russian Duma.
"The United Russia party certainly supports Putin's decision to participate in the elections and will provide all necessary support," said Andrei Turchak, interim secretary of the party's general council, adding that the corresponding decision will be set at the party congress from December 22 to 23 in Moscow.
"Putin enjoys the confidence and support of a large number of Russians, and he, of course, will be the absolute favorite of the presidential race," said Russian ombudsman Boris Titov.
So far, more than 10 politicians have announced their intention to run for the presidency, including Boris Titov; Vladimir Zhirinovsky, leader of the Democratic Liberal Party of Russia; and Gennady Zyuganov, leader of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation.
According to a poll conducted by the Levada Center polling agency from November 24 to 28, 53 percent of Russians would vote for Putin if the election were to be held on the nearest Sunday. Zhirinovsky and Zyuganov qualified in the second and third places, winning only 4 and 3 percent, respectively.
A young taxi driver said he liked Putin because he could resist Western pressure and safeguard Russia's interests.
Since Putin became president for the first time in 2000, Russia has been playing an important role in the global arena while exerting significant influence on many global and regional issues. Russia incorporated Crimea and directed the Syrian settlement after actively bombing terrorists there.
PROBLEMS ROOTED IN DEPTH
Putin's announcement for the presidential candidacy came a day after the International Olympic Committee decided to ban Russia's participation in the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang , South Korea, the last sign of the collapse of relations between Russia and the West.
It is unlikely that Russia and the United States will see de-icing ties until the next US presidential election and the impasse affect Russia in the medium and long term, said Dmitry Suslov, an expert at the Higher School of Economics from the National Research University of Moscow.
At home, the economy has had to come out of recession this year but the recovery is still fragile and largely dependent on world energy prices.
According to Zyuganov, industrial production is declining and many people live in poverty. All this, while the country has been blocked by sanctions.
"If we talk about how people will vote, those who live well now will vote for Putin and those who live poorly will vote for me," Zhirinovsky said.
Titov said he will introduce another economic model to society during the presidential campaign: create new sources of growth and develop new companies, instead of one based on raw materials.