MOSCOW, July 4. /TASS/. Pavel Astakhov will step down as the children’s ombudsman of his own free will after returning from his vacation, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Monday.
"At the moment Pavel Astakhov is away on vacation. De jure, he continues working. However, I can confirm that he will resign when he returns from vacation. The presidential decree will be signed then," he said.
According to the Kremlin spokesman, Astakhov will step down "of his own free will." He added that no candidates for the position have been discussed yet, "it is a matter of perspective, it is premature to discuss now who will take up the post."
Unofficial information about Astakhov’s possible resignation citing a source in the Kremlin appeared on July 2. Some media reports later said that Astakhov filed a notice of resignation.
An online campaign was launched last week to collect signatures for the ombudsman’s resignation. The occasion was the question he asked a girl who survived the boat disaster in northwest Russia, "How was your swim?" Astakhov later said his words were taken out of context.