The declaration assumes significance in the light of strong signals emanating from President Dmitry Medvedev for a second term in the office.
In a statement on its website, Yuri Shuvalov, deputy secretary of the presidium of the United Russia party's General Council, said, "As for the party's position on the 2012 elections, United Russia will orient itself on its leader Vladimir Putin."
Meanwhile, Konstantin Zatulin, United Russia lawmaker who has publicly expressed his choice for Putin over Medvedev, said, "I don't think Shuvalov was speaking under orders from Putin...More likely certain circles in United Russia came to the conclusion that it was no good to postpone an announcement of their opinion."
Putin who had two terms as the President of Russia spanning from 2000 to 2008, had to step down according to provisions of the country's constitution. He preferred Medvedev as his successor at Kremlin.
Medvedev who was believed to be a stop-gap arrangement to let Putin get back to presidency in 2012, has increasingly shown his assertiveness by ordering ministers, including allies of Putin, to give up seats on the boards of state-run companies, like Rosneft and VTB.
It now remains to be seen if Medvedev makes way for Putin or decides to take another shot at presidency.