İrem UZUN -TDO- Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has denied a UK media report claiming President Vladimir Putin was planning to resign due to health conditions, assuring the Russian leader is in good health. “He is in excellent health,” Peskov said in response to a question on whether the president was planning to quit, Russia’s TASS news agency reported on Friday.
The 68-year-old strongman's future has been the subject of increasing speculation after prominent critic Professor Valery Solovei suggested the leader had Parkinson's and that his family had urged him to retire in the new year. He has been in power as president or prime minister for two decades. He is the longest-serving Russian or Soviet leader since Joseph Stalin.
The speculation comes as Russian lawmakers are considering plans to gift ex-presidents’ lifetime immunity from criminal prosecution. Lawmakers introduced draft legislation to Russia's lower house of parliament on Thursday to reinforce Putin's immunity against prosecution after his presidency. "The president of the Russian Federation retains immunity upon terminating his authority," the text says. "He cannot be held criminally or administratively liable and cannot be detained, arrested or subjected to a search or an interrogation."