Russian President Vladimir Putin has not ruled out that he will run for a new presidential term if such a constitutional amendment is adopted, the media reported.
“I have not made any decision so far. I’m not ruling out that I will stand for (election) if this emerges in the Constitution. We’ll see,” TASS News Agency quoted the President as saying in a TV interview aired on Sunday.
The Russian leader cautioned officials against searching for a successor to him now, saying that they should rather focus on their work.
“They need to work rather than search for successors,” Putin said.
“You know, I’ll say absolutely frankly now: if this does not happen (passing a respective constitutional amendment) then in some two years, I know this from my own experience, instead of a normal rhythmical work at many levels of power they will start searching for potential successors.”
Putin’s remarks come ahead of a referendum in Russia on a set of constitutional amendments on July 1.
If passed, it will enable him to participate in the 2024 presidential race.
In January, Putin, who has served as President since 2012, previously holding the position from 1999 until 2008, suggested to introduce a number of amendments to the basic law, reports TASS News Agency.
Following a discussion within the working group, the State Duma (lower house) and the Federation Council (upper house) adopted the final bill on March 11, followed by approval by all regions of Russia.
Putin then signed an order, scheduling the nationwide vote on the amendments for April 22, which was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The amendments will enter force only if approved in the nationwide vote.