Russian authorities have set March 9, 2008, as the date for the country's next presidential elections.
The head of Russia's Central Electoral Commission, Alexander Veshnyakov, made the announcement while on a visit to the Russian Caucasus city of Stavropol. He said the pre-election campaign will begin in early December of next year.
Russia's constitution bars President Vladimir Putin from running for a third consecutive term and the Russian leader has repeatedly said he has no intention of remaining in office. But in a televised question-and-answer session in October, the Russian leader said he expects to play a role in setting government policy after leaving office and thus help guarantee the country's development.
Some information for this report was provided AP and Reuters.