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Kremlin: Putin accepts idea of removing presidential term limits amid global challenges

The global situation is very complex if not turbulent, the Kremlin spokesman said

MOSCOW, March 12. /TASS/. The complex global situation is one of the reasons why Russian President Vladimir Putin accepted State Duma member Valentina Tereshkova’s arguments in favor of removing limits on presidential terms, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Thursday.

"The global situation is no secret, it is very complex if not turbulent. Many countries, including ours, are facing external instability," he said. According to Peskov, "in such tough times, some countries moved to allow the incumbent president to remain in office." "In such tough times, it is important to maintain stable, firm and consistent policies," the Russian presidential spokesman emphasized.

"Apparently, this was Tereshkova’s reason, these were the arguments that President Putin accepted," Peskov added.

"The constitutional provision limiting presidential terms will remain in place and an exception will be made only for the incumbent president in relation to the amendment package, and, which is more important, in light of the current situation, this is what Tereshkova’s initiative was about," he noted.

When asked why Putin had changed his view on the need to limit presidential terms, Peskov pointed out that the global situation, including the situation around Russia "was definitely one of the crucial reasons."

Constitutional amendments

Russia’s Federation Council (the upper house of parliament) approved a bill amending the country’s Constitution at a plenary meeting on Wednesday.

The bill sets a limit of two presidential terms. However, the senators also approved an amendment proposed by lawmaker Valentina Tereshkova, which says that Russia’s incumbent and former heads of state can run for president regardless of the time spent in office before the amendment came into force. However, President Putin said that the Constitutional Court must check the amendment before it took effect.

Putin submitted the bill to the State Duma (the lower house of parliament) in late January, following his 2020 State of the Nation Address. The document particularly expands the authority of Russia’s parliament and Constitutional Court, bars officials from holding foreign passports and residence permits and ensures the supremacy of the Constitution within Russia’s legal system.