MOSCOW, Feb. 2 (UPI) -- Russia's four registered presidential candidates Saturday were allowed to begin buying advertisements and air time on the country's mass media.
Beginning Monday, the candidates can begin using the free air time allotted by six Russian television and radio stations, Itar-Tass reported Saturday.
The candidates allowed to officially campaign are First Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov, LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky, and Democratic Party of Russia leader Andrei Bogdanov, Itar-Tass said.
The six radio and television channels each have allotted seven hours of free broadcast time to the presidential race, with half of the time to be used for joint debates.
Medvedev, citing a tight work schedule, has declined to participate in the debates. Russia's presidential election is scheduled for March 2.