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Vladimir Putin is sworn in for a fourth presidential term

Ⓒ SPUTNIK/AFP – Alexander ASTAFYEV – | Vladimir Putin is sworn in during a ceremony at the Moscow Kremlin on May 7, 2018

Vladimir Putin was inaugurated on Monday for a fourth presidential term that will keep him in power until 2024, after 18 years at the head of Russia as head of state or government.

“I consider it my duty and the meaning of my life to do everything possible for Russia, for its present and for its future,” he declared after taking the oath with the hand on the Constitution in a solemn ceremony at the Great Kremlin Palace in Moscow. , in the presence of the presidents of both chambers of the Russian parliament and the constitutional court.

Putin, re-elected president in March with 76.7% of the vote, the best result since his arrival in power in 2000, is more than ever the strong man of Russia, again on the international front line at the price of tensions with the western countries.

“I am particularly aware of my colossal responsibility to each one of you, to Russia,” Putin said during the ceremony. “I will do everything possible to increase the power, prosperity and glory of Russia,” he told deputies, senators and cultural figures from the Kremlin.

Ⓒ SPUTNIK/AFP – Evgeny Biyatov – |

The March elections, in which he was far ahead of his rivals, were described as “transparent to the maximum” by the electoral commission. The opposition and the NGOs reported thousands of irregularities, such as illegally filled ballot boxes or voters brought in by coach to vote under pressure from their bosses.

Two days before the investiture, on Saturday, demonstrations against Putin organized by his main opponent, Alexei Navalny, took place throughout Russia.

In many cases the demonstrations, banned by the authorities, were violently dispersed and there were more than 1,500 arrests, including Navalny’s, released shortly after.

Navalny, ineligible after a criminal conviction orchestrated by the Kremlin, could not be presented to the presidential.

Ⓒ AFP – Vincent LEFAI – | Biography of Vladimir Putin

On May 6, 2012, a day before Putin’s previous inauguration, a demonstration by the opposition in Bolotnaia Square in Moscow sparked clashes with the police and several demonstrators were sentenced to prison terms.

– Russian interests –

Although Putin spoke during the campaign of the Russian military power, after his re-election he says he wants to reduce military spending in 2018 and 2019 and denies that there is a new arms race.

Since 2014, with the annexation of the Ukrainian Crimean peninsula, its popularity in Russia has been further strengthened. But now his goal “is not to annex new territories to Russia but to make the whole world take into account Russian interests and accept their conquests,” analyst Dmitri Orechkin told AFP.

Ⓒ AFP – – | The longevity of Vlamidir Putin in power

Russia, the target since 2014 of unprecedented Western sanctions for the Ukrainian crisis, also opposes the Western countries in the war in Syria and is accused of interference in the election campaign of Donald Trump.

The East-West confrontation has been further accentuated by accusations by the United Kingdom that Russia is responsible for the poisoning of a Russian ex-spy in British territory, which the Kremlin denies.

Putin should stay in power until 2024, when he is 72 years old.

Asked after his re-election in March for his plans after that date he replied. “It’s a joke! What am I going to do, stay up to a hundred? No.”

Except in the case of constitutional reform, Putin can not be a candidate in 2024 because the Russian constitution prohibits two consecutive terms.

The experts point out that the Russian president could prepare his succession in the next few years, although for the moment he has not given any clue.

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