The Russian constitution currently limits presidents to two 12-year terms (two separate 6-year elections). Putin’s term is up in 2018 and he could run again, serving until 2024.
Putin is highly popular today due to his nationalist policies and state dominated media, including TASS – the state controlled news agency (where he recently pledged to abide by term limits).
As part of a recent exercise at the Korbel School, students speculated that sanctions and other problems with the Russian economy (low price of oil) could lead Putin to consider not running in 2018. The following were conditions outlined that he would be likely to want if he began to recruit a replacement.
Putin’s Goal. Find a replacement to run in 2018 who will:
- Protect his personal and family wealth, liberty and security (Yeltsin guarantee)
- Maintain (extend) imperial gains
- Maintain sufficient authoritarian control
- Maintain (extend) anti-Western ideology
- Win public opinion and the 2018 election