MOSCOW, June 25. /TASS/. The adoption of constitutional amendments is aimed at confirming Russia’s social guarantees and sovereignty, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Thursday.
According to the spokesman, this is a major difference from the situation in 2008, when there were proposals on changing the key law in order to enable the incumbent president to run for the third term. "The situation is different. Now the focus is made primarily on those amendments, which strengthen the country’s sovereignty and social nature of our state," Peskov said, noting that the proposed amendments introduce "those focal points which come to the forefront with time and which are the most important for the citizens, as was seen during the public discussion and formulation of these amendments."
Peskov also highlighted that there were some nuances. "As far as 2008 is concerned, he [Putin] spoke about an eventual opportunity that existed then to initiate the issue on changing the Constitution. The level of support for the president that existed then and the level of citizens’ trust in him then and now is a good indicator that the presidential initiative would have received mass support back then," the Kremlin spokesman explained.
He also noted that the current Constitution had a provision that Russia is a socially-oriented state. "But this cornerstone principle gets more 'props', which are very important as strengthening it even further," he said. A number of other amendments concerning children and animals also allow to highlight key points in the Constitution.
Speaking on the amendment which enables Putin to be re-elected Peskov recalled that this was the initiative of Russian MP and the first woman in space, Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova. "It was supported. It [the amendment] was also well-reasoned as after introducing the entire package of amendments, naturally, the president should be given the opportunity if there is such an intention to be elected in the future," he said.
According to the Kremlin spokesman, the difference in the initiatives on amending the key law in 2008 and 2020 was that now "more substantive amendments" have been proposed.
"Here, the precursor of everything this year was precisely a package of substantial constitutional amendments that, at the same time, do not change the core of the basic law, and only then there was the MP’s initiative on the possibility for the president to run in election again," Peskov said. Meanwhile, in 2008 there was only the proposal on the possibility to run for the third term and Putin strongly rejected it, he explained.