Vladimir Putin’s current term of office will end in 2014; his further running for presidency would be against the Constitution. Therefore, the Kremlin is looking for the solution to ‘the year 2024 problem’ and considering a number of oprions, exiled Russian businessman and political figure Mikhail Khodorkovsky believes.
In 2008, the day was saved as Dmitry Medvedev became President of Russia, but it is highly unlikely that the scenario will be put into practice again. At the same time, Putin’s giving up power is out of the question, Khodorkovsky states in his blog.
According to him, the first option is Belarus’ and Russia’s uniting into a single country.
“A new country that has a new Constitution may appear. The number of terms in office will be zeroed out, and one could control it up to the moment when, as they say, death do us part. But such a union will definitely bring some issues. In particular, it will cost the Russian economy $20 bn a year. However, it is not so much for the country, and not an issue for Putin. The question is that Alyaksandr Lukashenka does not want to lose power,” he said.
By the moment, the Belarusian leader has managed to wander off the from the Kremlin. At least for a while, the Russian activist stressed.
Another solution to the Year 2024 problem is a transfer of power from President to Prime Minister, Khodorkovsky said. In this case, Putin may become the Russian PM country and be able to rule without any restrictions.
The third option is staying in power after the end of the term. But it could be accompanied with declaring the state of emergency accidents or even a war, the emigre politician warned.
Putin is known for taking a final decision at the last moment, Mikhail Khodorkovsky added. The question what he will do in 2024 – move to the Government House, remain in the Kremlin, or hide in a fortified military bunker — deserves to be asked.