Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has formally accepted his ruling party's nomination to return to the presidency, in an address in which he warned the West against funding his political opponents.
Mr Putin, who became prime minister in 2008 after two presidential terms, spoke in Moscow on November 27 to a televised congress of his United Russia party. He accused unnamed foreign countries of bankrolling opposition efforts to influence the outcome of next week's parliamentary elections and presidential polls set for March.
PM Putin formally announced in September that he intended to reclaim the presidency next year in polls that analysts say he is certain to win. Under the deal, he will name current President Dmitry Medvedev as his prime minister.
If the 59-year-old Putin regains the presidency, he could serve two more six-year terms and remain in power until 2024.