Russian President Vladimir Putin signed legislation on Monday that allows him to potentially retain power until 2036, formalizing constitutional changes approved in a popular vote last year.
The constitutional amendment passed on July 1 included a provision that reset Putin’s previous terms, allowing him to run for president two more times. The Kremlin-controlled legislature approved the change, and the relevant law, signed by Putin, was posted Monday on an official legal information portal.
The 68-year-old Russian president, who has been in power for more than two decades – longer than any other Kremlin leader since Soviet dictator Josef Stalin has said that he would decide whether to run for re-election in 2024, when his current six-year term expires.
He has claimed that resetting the term count was necessary to keep his lieutenants from “darting their eyes in search of possible successors” instead of doing their regular jobs.
The constitutional amendments also emphasized Russian law’s precedence over international norms, prohibited same-sex marriages, and listed “belief in God” as a core value. Russian legislators have modified national legislation methodically, approving the relevant laws.