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White House Mocks Putin Re-Election Bid

John Kirby, national security council coordinator, speaks during a news conference on Dec. 7, 2023. EPA / Ting Shen / POOL / TASS

The White House mocked Russian President Vladimir Putin's announcement on Friday that he would run for re-election in 2024, suggesting that the result was highly unlikely to be in doubt.

"Well, that's going to be one humdinger of a horse race, isn't it?" National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters aboard Air Force One when asked about Putin's bid to extend his decades-long grip on power.

"That's all I've got to say on that."

The 71-year-old Putin has led Russia since the turn of the century, winning four presidential ballots and briefly serving as prime minister in a system where opposition has become virtually nonexistent.

U.S. President Joe Biden, 81, who faces an uphill task in his own re-election battle next year, said earlier this week that Putin had to be stopped as the Kremlin leader pushes on with his invasion of Ukraine.

Biden was urging Congress to approve fresh military aid for Kyiv before it runs out at the end of this year, warning that Putin "won't stop" with Ukraine and could go on to attack a NATO country.

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