Russian President Vladimir Putin (searchsaid Thursday he would run in the March 2004 presidential election.

Putin made his widely expected announcement during a televised question-and-answer session with the Russian people.

A woman in the southern Russian region of Krasnodar (search) asked about Putin's plans for re-election. Putin said he had expected to make the announcement within the next few days, but since so many people had expressed interest in questions collected ahead of time, he said he could answer "in the affirmative."