President Vladimir Putin enjoys the support of Russians because they have a "natural desire to insure themselves” from the complex international situation, said first President of the USSR, Mikhail Gorbachev, in conversation with RIA Novosti while commenting on Putin's decision to take part in the presidential elections.
"The situation is such that Russia has many problems, and a very complicated international [situation]. Hence, the people have a natural desire to insure themselves and not rush to make decisions," he explained. According to Gorbachev, Putin is, at a present, "really, a leader who deservedly enjoys the support of the people." "We have to reckon with and, I think, orient ourselves to this," he added.
Gorbachev stressed that the Russians now "live very hard, [and] tense". "Life is one in which you have to know a lot, and to decide much more, in order to get out of dead ends and so on," he said.
The first President of the USSR noted that over the past few years, Putin’s shift to President of Russia has been a recurring theme. "I see that he did not just lightly, so to speak, relate to this topic, this problem; he understood [the role] as a great responsibility," said Gorbachev. "Well, as they say, the opinions of the intelligentsia and the workers - the population, citizens - converged, apparently, [on the idea that] the President’s work should be prolonged and give another season," he concluded.
Vladimir Putin announced his decision to take part in the Russian presidential elections, scheduled for March 2018, on December 6. He made the announcement at a meeting with employees of the GAZ car plant in Nizhny Novgorod.
"This is always a very big decision for any person, because the motive for making such a decision can only be the desire to improve the lives of people in our country - to make the country more powerful, protected, looking toward the future," the Head of State said at the Volunteer Russia 2017 forum, which he attended on the same day.