MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin, seeking a new term in office in a March election, said on Thursday he would run as an independent candidate while hoping for support from more than one political party.


Putin, 65, told an annual news conference that Russia's political system must be competitive, but the opposition lacked a strong candidate to challenge him because his opponents, while creating a lot of noise, had very little to offer the nation.


(Reporting by Denis Punchuk, Vladimir Soldatkin and Jack Stubbs; Writing by Dmitry Solovyov; Editing by Christian Lowe)