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Putin against any "mentor" in system of Russia’s supreme power

Putin stated that Russia "unconditionally must be a strong presidential republic"

SOCHI, January 22. /TASS/. Any appearance of a person mentoring the head of state might cause diarchy and that would be a disaster for the country, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting with university students on Wednesday.

A MGIMO student, who took part in the meeting, asked Putin about prospects after 2024, the year when his presidential term expires. She proposed using the experience of, for example, Singapore, which introduced the position of Minister Mentor (taken on by Former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew).

For his part, Putin pointed out that Lee Kuan Yew was a mentor in the government of his son, Lee Hsien Loon.

"He was father of the incumbent [prime minister], so the succession was direct," the president said praising Lee Kuan Yew as a prominent politician who "created the country."

"Do you want me to be a mentor?" Putin asked and then remarked that it would undermine the institution of presidency.

"Once any institution emerges above president, it will mean nothing else but diarchy. It is an absolutely disastrous situation for a country like Russia," the president concluded.

Speaking about the possibility of a parliamentary form of government in Russia, when the winning party will appoint prime minister whose terms in office will not be limited, Putin said that "it is inappropriate for Russia."

"We do not have political parties which have existed for more than a hundred years, like in European countries. However, it is a mandatory condition [for a parliamentary republic]," the president said underscoring that problems crop up even in Europe, as "they are unable to form government for more than six months," Putin said referring to Belgium as an example.

Putin stated that Russia "unconditionally must be a strong presidential republic."

"We have so many ethnic groups and so many different ways of life. It is next to impossible to integrate them all within the framework of a parliamentary republic," the president said.