The Kremlin threw cold water Friday on a report that Vladimir Putin plans to step down next year amid speculation that he may be suffering from Parkinson’s disease.
British tabloid The Sun on Thursday cited Moscow political pundit Valery Solovei as saying that the longtime strongman’s 37-year-old gal pal Alina Kabaeva and his two daughters are pushing him to leave office.
“It’s absolute nonsense,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Friday, Reuters reported. “Everything is fine with the president.”
Asked if Putin was planning to soon step down as Solovei had suggested, Peskov said flatly: “No.”
Solovei suggested Putin may be suffering from the degenerative disorder of the central nervous system as the 68-year-old has been seen recently exhibiting symptoms of the disease.
Putin recently appeared to be in agony while shifting his legs, according to footage reviewed by an observer, The Sun reported. Reviewed footage also appeared to show his fingers twitching as he held a cup that possibly contained medicine, the report said.
Speculation of Putin’s possible departure comes as Russian lawmakers are considering legislation proposed by the president that would grant ex-presidents lifetime immunity from criminal prosecution.
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