(Bloomberg) -- Russia set March 17, 2024, as the date of the next presidential election, paving the way for a campaign in which Vladimir Putin is widely expected to seek a fifth term.

The upper house of parliament unanimously confirmed the election date in a vote Thursday, with Russia embroiled in its war in Ukraine and its economy under unprecedented international sanctions over the February 2022 invasion Putin ordered. After changing the constitution to allow himself two more terms, he may also seek another six years as president in 2030.

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“Today’s decision essentially kicks off the election campaign,” Speaker Valentina Matviyenko said at the Federation Council meeting. “Biased foreign organizations will certainly try to discredit our elections.”

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