"A major political event, an election of the president of our country, will be held on Sunday, March 2," Putin was quoted as saying Friday. "Three months ago we elected the new parliament and it is already working actively," he added.
Putin has endorsed First Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev for the presidency. Also running are Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov, Liberal Democratic Party leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky and Andrei Bogdanov, an independent.
"The day after tomorrow you will vote for the new president, and thus finish the second and crucial stage of the renewal of the higher echelons of power," Putin said. "Russia's onward movement must not stop, and changes for the better must be continued."