World Bulletin / News Desk
According to the official news agency TASS, after the decree is published on Dec. 18, the election campaign will officially begin.
Citing Ella Pamfilova, head of the Central Electoral Commission, TASS said at least 23 people have expressed a desire to run.
On Dec. 6, Putin announced that he would seek a fourth term as president in 2018.
"I would prefer not to talk about my election program at this point. Just like any other candidate I will certainly have one. In fact, my program is almost ready," Putin said on Thursday, at his 13th annual news conference, according to a Kremlin statement.