Vladimir V. Putin was formally nominated today as the presidential candidate for Russia’s governing party, United Russia, the New York Times reported.
Putin, currently serving as Russia’s prime minister, is expected to win the presidential election in March, the Wall Street Journal reported. This would return him to Russia’s highest office after stepping down three years ago.
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"There is no more successful, experienced or popular politician in Russia,” Russia’s President Dmitri Medvedev, Putin’s political protégé, said today at a meeting of party supporters, the Wall Street Journal reported. “We have officially determined our political future, not just for the short term but for the long term."
According to the Wall Street Journal:
Kremlin officials say there are few differences between Messrs. Putin and Medvedev, and that their switch in roles will bring scant change. But analysts say the official return of Mr. Putin to the Kremlin may present difficulties for the West, amid his insistence that the U.S. and European Union are trying to undermine him.
An estimated 11,000 pro-Kremlin United Russia party delegates gathered at a sports stadium for the nomination event, and chanted, “Russia! Russia!” as Putin gave his acceptance speech, the New York Times reported. “When I hear people shout out ‘Russia,’ I think the entire audience should do that,” Putin told the crowd, according to the New York Times. When the audience obliged, Putin pounded his fists on the podium, the New York Times reported.
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