Moscow : Russia on Monday officially kicked off its presidential election campaign after the upper house of parliament published its resolution.
The Russian Federation Council or upper house of parliament published its resolution in the Russian daily Rossiiskaya Gazeta, reported TASS.
Russia has fixed March 18 for presidential election next year.
A total of 23 people, including incumbent leader Vladimir Putin, have announced their wish to run for the post of president in the 2018 election, the head of the Central Election Commission, Ella Pamfilova, said.
Putin has stated that he will contest the presidential election slate next year as an independent candidate, while hoping for support from the political 'forces sharing his views on the country's development.'
He won the 2012 presidential election as a candidate from the United Russia party.
The party has already voiced its support for Putin.
While Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov is reportedly yet to confirm his candidacy, Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR) leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky and opposition journalist Ksenia Sobchak have declared their ambitions to run for the post, reported the local media.
Meanwhile, Opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been barred from running for the presidential elections.