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Vladimir Putin announced his intention to run for president

January 13, 2000, St Petersburg

Vladimir Putin made this statement while visiting St Petersburg State University, the leading higher educational establishment in Russia’s northern capital.

Mr Putin received the gown of honorary member of the law department’s academic council “for his contribution to strengthening Russia’s statehood, promoting constructive cooperation between all branches of government and for his substantial contribution to establishing the rule of law and the principles of democracy and justice in Russia.”

In his address to the ceremony, Mr Putin said he had decided to run for president.

He subsequently told journalists he hoped that the election campaign would not be marred by dirty election techniques and called on them to do everything possible to ensure fair and honest elections. Mr Putin said that they must do their best to make the forthcoming campaign bring Russian society together rather than divide it.

Mr Putin said that if he won, he would focus on economic problems in order to raise living standards.

Commenting on the political situation in St Petersburg, Mr Putin said that he supported the candidacy of Vladimir Yakovlev in the gubernatorial election. He also said he believed it was possible to hold the presidential and gubernatorial elections at the same time; the St Petersburg legislative assembly, however, would have the final say on the matter.

In conclusion, Mr Putin wished the journalists and all media workers a happy Press Day, their professional holiday.

January 13, 2000, St Petersburg