Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Russian President Vladimir Putin to stay in power past 2024

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Moscow: Vladimir Putin has decided to run in the March presidential election, a move that will keep him in power until least 2030, as the Kremlin chief feels he must steer Russia through the most perilous period in decades, six sources told Reuters.

Putin, who was handed the presidency by Boris Yeltsin on the last day of 1999, has already served as president for longer than any other Russian ruler since Josef Stalin, beating even Leonid Brezhnev’s 18-year tenure.

Putin turned 71 on Oct. 7.

The sources, who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of Kremlin politics, said that news of Putin’s decision had trickled down and that advisers were now preparing for the campaign and a Putin election.

For Putin, who opinion polls show enjoys approval ratings of 80 per cent inside Russia, the election is a formality if he runs: with the support of the state, the state media and almost no mainstream public dissent, he is certain to win.

“The decision has been made – he will run,” said one of the sources who has knowledge of planning. A choreographed hint is due to come within a few weeks, another source said, confirming a Kommersant newspaper report last month.

Another source, also acquainted with the Kremlin’s thinking, confirmed that a decision had been made and that Putin’s advisers were preparing for Putin’s participation. Three other sources said the decision had been made: Putin will run.

“The world we look out upon is very dangerous,” said one of the sources.

A foreign diplomatic source, who also requested anonymity, said Putin made the decision recently and that the announcement would come soon.

While many foreign diplomats, spies and officials say they expect Putin to stay in power for life, there has until now been no specific confirmation of his plans to run in the March 2024 presidential election.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov declined to comment. Peskov said in September that if Putin decided to run, then no one would be able to compete with him.

The Kremlin has dismissed reports that Putin was unwell as disinformation spread by the West.

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