As soon as Dmitry Medvedev offered to extend the presidential term from four to six years, rumors appeared immediately saying that the suggestion had been made to bring Vladimir Putin back in the Kremlin and make him stay there as long as possible.
Medvedev said in his interview with Le Figaro newspaper that the planned constitutional amendments would touch upon only the next president of the Russian Federation. Medvedev did not specify if Vladimir Putin could become the next president after him.
A change of the Constitution may give the Russian administration an opportunity to keep the current state of affairs unchanged during a very long period of time. In addition, Medvedev’s suggestion showed that the Russian administration had taken a firm grip on the reins of government.
Medvedev made the suggestion during the critical moment for Russia, when crude prices collapsed against the background of the financial crisis. This is the time when Russia had to open its stabilization fund.
Putin was successfully solving the question of Russia’s centralization during his stay at power. Putin’s actions at this point resulted in the fact that even strong regional leaders, for example the president of Tatarstan, failed to defend some of their privileges which they obtained during Yeltsin’s rule.