Russian President Vladimir Putin said talk of his possible successor “destabilizes” the country’s political system and that he has not yet made any plans for his future.
Speaking in an interview with CNBC, Putin, 69, declined to say whether he planned to stay in the Kremlin after 2024, when his current and second consecutive presidential term ends.
“Talking about it destabilizes the situation,” he told the American television channel in an interview aired overnight.
“The situation must be safe and stable for the power structures and state structures to act confidently and look calmly towards the future,” Putin said.
Noting that he could legally run for president again, Putin, who has been in power as president or prime minister for more than two decades, said he had not made a decision yet.
“I prefer not to answer these questions,” he said. “There’s a lot of time before the next election.”
Russian authorities last year adopted constitutional amendments that allow Putin to remain in power until 2036 and have since launched a historic crackdown on the opposition and independent media.
The opposition criticized the constitutional law, saying Putin planned to be “president for life”.
But some political pundits do not rule out that Putin may be preparing to step down in the near future and are raising signs of infighting among the elite.
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