Putin's official spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that the intention to zero out the term clock of the sitting president, which was introduced in the law on amendments to the Russian Constitution is a one-time move that would be used only to the incumbent president. Such a decision, he said, was based on the current restless and turbulent state of affairs in Russia and the world.
According to Peskov, turbulence should be understood as a combination of factors such as the coronavirus pandemic, which is affecting the world economy, signs of a global recession that have appeared on the horizon, regional conflicts and sanctions.
"Stability is of great importance. Valentina Tereshkova was guided by this when she proposed her amendment," Peskov said, adding that other countries had also made decisions about a possibility for their leaders to stay in power at one point of their history.
At the same time, according to the Kremlin spokesman, it is now impossible to say whether Putin is going to take advantage of this amendment. "When 2024 comes, we will see," he said noting that Putin is at the very beginning of his presidential term, so there's no need to see him off now.
When asked what arguments the Constitutional Court of Russia had in order to declare resetting Putin's presidencies to zero constitutional, whereas in 1998 Boris Yeltsin was denied such an opportunity, Peskov said that this was not a question to him.
"It's not up to me to explain. This is a question to the Constitutional Court. Let's not put the horse before the cart," the Kremlin's spokeswoman said.
President Vladimir Putin initiated the constitutional amendment process on January 15 during his address to the Federal Assembly. The amendment, which, with the approval of the Constitutional Court, will allow him to run for president again, was introduced by United Russia party Valentina Tereshkova, who is also known as first woman in space. Putin later supported this amendment and rejected the other two - about removing time restrictions from presidential terms and on the dissolution of the State Duma for new parliamentary elections.
More than 3,500 people were detained during unprecedented mass protests that swept across all of Russia in support of Alexey Navalny on January 23