It Depends On What Your Defintion Of 'Respect' Is
Why should we believe that ... unless the Russian constitution allows the murder of novelists and ex-spies who oppose the Prez, unless it allows the capture of business assets of Pres opponents, etc., etc., yes?
Well, it turns out Vlad may be scheming toward a post-presidency strategy that can be best described as "limited constitutional respect:"
"He will not leave," Sergei Stepashin, head of Russia's accounting chamber, was quoted as saying in the Komsomolskaya Pravda daily Saturday. "I think he will find the kind of formula in which he would step down, but stay on."
Stepashin, a former prime minister, secret services chief and KGB veteran, suggested that Putin's post-Kremlin future could be modelled loosely on that of Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping, who in the 1990s was widely considered to retain backroom power despite his retirement.
Ah, there's a fine role model for you.
Stepashin is fine with all this; he told Agence Press France in the interview that he sees leadership changes problematic for Russia, where Putin's "work is going well." Translation: Stepapshin was selected to send up the trial balloon.
Asked what sort of options Putin might consider, Stepashin answered: "Lots. Party leader, head of parliament, government, a new state council."
Unfortunately, becuase Putin's work is "going well," those who don't share Stepashin's assessent may not be too likely to share their concerns.
Related Tags: Putin, Russia, Foreign affairs