President Vladimir Putin’s successor will be nearly identical to his predecessor, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Friday as the country gears up for an election in which Putin is expected to win a fifth term.
Putin, 71, who has been in power since 1999, is widely anticipated to announce his 2024 re-election bid next month, having secured the power to serve two more presidential terms as part of controversial constitutional changes in 2020.
Asked about Putin’s eventual successor, presumably after his sixth and final term ends in 2036, Peskov told the prestigious Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO)’s student-run channel:
“The same. Or different, but the same.”
Peskov said he “sincerely wants to believe” that Putin will announce he is running and repeated his prediction that he will win.
Putin has said he would make official statements about his plans for the March 2024 election only after Russia’s parliament formally calls the race next month.
However, Putin took a series of steps this week indicating that preparations for the presidential race are underway.
On Tuesday, he signed changes to Russia’s presidential election laws that allow for voting to take place in territories where martial law has been declared due to the invasion of Ukraine.
On Thursday, Putin held a meeting with Central Election Commission (CEC) officials in which he threatened to crack down on outside interference in the voting process.