Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday signed a decree paving the way for constitutional amendments which, among other things, will allow him to remain in power until 2036.
“The citizens of Russia have made their choice, and in accordance with this decision, I have signed a decree to officially publish the constitution to include the amendments,” the head of the Kremlin said.
The referendum on constitutional reform, held over a one-week period, ended with a 77.92% “yes” vote.
The referendum was not observed by the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) which traditionally monitors elections in Russia. The European Union has asked Moscow to investigate reports of irregularities, but Putin’s spokesperson Dmitri Peskov dismissed the idea.
“Russia is and will remain attached, above all, to national sovereignty,” Peskov told TASS news agency. “We are not prepared to take these so-called concerns into account and we will not do so.”