Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday that he will step down as Russia’s president when his current term ends in 2024.
However, that does not mean he will let go of the reins of power.
Russia’s constitution limits the president to two six-year terms, according to Reuters.
“I have always strictly abided by and abide by the constitution of the Russian Federation,” Putin said after he was asked about stepping down.
Vladimir Putin decides to step down as Russia’s president in 2024 pic.twitter.com/hsuZ7SS4uW
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“In the constitution it’s clearly written that nobody can serve more than two terms in a row,” he said. “I intend to abide by this rule.”
Putin was re-elected president in March, and has served as Russia’s president since 2012.
In framing his comments, Putin hinted that stepping down was not the same as going away.
“Remember the previous time I left the presidential post, I also plan to stick to the rules this time,” he said, according to The Times of Israel.
In 2008, Putin stepped down as president after serving the maximum two consecutive terms allowed by law, only to become president again in 2012, which was legal.
Although it is unclear when Putin will let someone else run Russia, he has said that will happen someday.
“Am I supposed to be in this post till I’m 100 years old? No!” he said in March just before his re-election.
Putin will be 71 in 2024, when his current term ends.
If Putin serves out his term through 2024, he would be the longest-serving leader of Russia since dictator Joseph Stalin, who ruled the former Soviet Union for 30 years.
During the international economic event at which he addressed his own future, Putin criticized President Donald Trump’s plan to pull out of the Iranian nuclear agreement, CBS News reported.
“If international agreements are revised every four years it would offer zero horizon for planning,” Putin said. “It will create the atmosphere of nervousness and lack of trust.”
Putin also talked about the relationship between Russia and the United States.
“We certainly can’t be happy with the level and nature of Russia-U.S. relations,” Putin said. “We are ready for dialogue. It long has become overdue.”
However, he also criticized sanctions slapped against Russia by the U.S., saying they were part of the “not just erosion but the dismantling of a system of multilateral cooperation that took decades to build.”
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