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Will Vladimir Putin be president of Russia for life?

Vladimir Putin was first elected as Russia’s president in 2000. Twenty years later he is still there. 

He has served longer than any Russian or Soviet politician since the early 1950s – and he could be on course to be one of his nation’s longest-serving leaders.

Putin’s opponents say he plans to never leave the office.

Constitutional reforms introduced in January will allow him to stay in power for another two six-year terms.
His current one ends in four years. Russians have started voting in a week-long referendum on the amendments.

But the state Duma has already approved those changes to the constitution – while also passing a law that said the reforms must have the public’s support.

So, how will this shape Russia’s future?

Presenter: Bernard Smith


Andrei Fedorov – director of Fund for Political Research and Consulting and former deputy foreign minister of Russia

Jim Jatras – former US diplomat who served at the USSR desk at the State Department and a former foreign policy adviser to the US Senate Republican leadership attorney

Alexander Solovyev – Moscow Division chairman at the Party of Changes and former assistant to the independent Member of Parliament Dmitry Gudkov

Source: Al Jazeera