Putin says he will step down as president after the mandate expires in 2024

    Abdulaziz Sobh

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    Vladimir Putin said on Friday he would respect the Russian constitution that prohibits anyone from fulfilling two consecutive presidential terms, which means that he will resign his post in 2024 when his current term expires. His comments, made to reporters at an economic forum in St. Petersburg and broadcast on state television, are not a surprise and do not necessarily mean he will relinquish power in six years. Putin resigned as president once, in 2008, after serving two consecutive terms only to return in 2012 after serving a term as prime minister, a move he could legally take again. "I have always obeyed strictly and accept the constitution of the Russian Federation," Putin said when asked if he would leave office and when he would. "In the constitution, it is clearly written that nobody can fulfill more than two terms in a row ... I intend to comply with this rule." Putin easily won re-election in March, extending his term for six years to 24, which would make him the longest-serving leader of Moscow since the Soviet dictator Josef Stalin.

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