US President Donald Trump (R) and Russia's President Vladimir Putin talk as they make their way to take the "family photo" during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders' summit in the central Vietnamese city of Danang on November 11, 2017.
World leaders and senior business figures are gathering in the Vietnamese city of Danang this week for the annual 21-member APEC summit. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / JORGE SILVA        (Photo credit should read JORGE SILVA/AFP/Getty Images)
Putin praises Trump, slams Russia probe
02:33 - Source: CNN
CNN  — 

Russia’s next presidential election will be held on March 18, 2018, state-run news agency Tass reported Friday.

The decision was made by Russia’s upper house of parliament, the Federation Council.

Incumbent President Vladimir Putin, the heavy favorite to win, announced on Thursday during his annual press conference that he would seek re-election as an independent candidate – his fourth presidential bid – in order to gain the support of multiple political parties who “support” his views.

He said his aim was for Russia to have a “competitive” and “balanced” political system but that it was not his responsibility to create his own opponents.

Putin added Russia should be as competitive politically as it is economically. “I want this and I will strive for a balanced political system and that is impossible without competition in the political field,” he said.

Asked why Russia had no effective opposition figures, Putin said that most of current opposition figures were focusing on “making noise” rather than a genuine agenda that can benefit the nation and compete with those in power.

Many young Russians don’t remember the problems the nation faced in the 1990s and early 2000s, he added.

CNN’s Laura Smith-Spark contributed to this article.