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Russian President Vladimir Putin May Be Eyeing Retirement Amid Rumors Of Health Problems: Report
Russian President Vladimir Putin and members of youth organizations attend a ceremony at the Monument to Minin and Pozharsky on Red Square on the National Unity Day in downtown Moscow on November 4, 2020.
ALEXEY NIKOLSKY/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin reportedly may step down next year amid rumors that he is battling serious health issues.

“Kremlin watchers said recent tell-tale footage showed the 68-year-old strongman has possible symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease,” The Sun reported. “Observers who studied recent footage of Putin noted his legs appeared to be in constant motion and he looked to be in pain while clutching the armrest of a chair.”

Moscow political scientist Professor Valery Solovei told The Sun: “There is a family, it has a great influence on him. He intends to make public his handover plans in January.”

Talk about Putin potentially stepping down comes as Russian lawmakers have recently begun discussing giving lifetime immunity from criminal prosecutions to ex-presidents.

The New York Post reported:

The proposed legislation would expand existing Russian law, which dictates that sitting presidents cannot be held criminally or administratively liable for crimes committed while serving their terms, the Moscow Times reported.

“The bill secures immunity guarantees for ex-presidents beyond the terms of their presidential powers,” Senator Andrei Klishas told the Russian news agency Interfax, the outlet said. “This expands the time frame of immunity guarantees for a president who stops exercising his powers.”

However, the bill does allow lawmakers to rescind the immunity clause by a two-thirds majority of the country’s two legislative chambers if the president is accused of high treason or other felonies.

Both chambers of Russia’s parliament are controlled by allies of Putin, the Post adds. The proposal comes after Putin submitted a proposal last week that would “entitle a former president to a lifetime seat as a senator in Russia’s Federation Council, a position that also comes with immunity from prosecution,” The Guardian reported. “The bills follow Russia’s adoption of constitutional amendments that ‘reset’ Putin’s term limits, allowing him to potentially run twice more for president and remain in office until 2036, when he would be 84. He has ruled the country, mostly as president, since 2000.”

This article has been expanded after publication to include additional information.

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