Russian President Vladimir Putin has told an annual end-of-year press conference that he will run for president in early 2018 as an independent candidate.At Putin’s annual question and answer session with Russian and foreign media in Moscow on Thursday, the president was asked by a journalist from the Kommersant newspaper who he was running with for president in March 2018.”I will run on my own behalf,” Putin said. “Definitely, I hope that I will be supported by some popular movements, parties or any other groups that share my views and that endorse my views so I really rely on broad support from our people.”Putin’s comments are significant as he signaled a break with the United Russia party that has been associated with the strongman leader since its formation in 2001.
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