Putin Doesn’t Like Cult of Personality of Putin, Kremlin Says

(Bloomberg) -- With Vladimir Putin overhauling the constitution to make it possible for him to remain president until 2036, Russian officials have been falling over themselves to praise their leader lately.

Putin doesn’t like it, according to the Kremlin.

“The cult of personality of Vladimir Putin is something that Vladimir Putin categorically disagrees with,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told a conference call Friday. “He doesn’t like it and he doesn’t agree with it.”

His comments came a day after the speaker of the lower house of parliament, Vyacheslav Volodin, reached new heights of praise for the man who’s run Russia for the last two decades.

“Today, with the challenges and threats that are out there in the world, it’s not oil and gas that are our advantages. As you see, they can go down in price,” Volodin said. “Our advantage is Putin and we should defend him.”

Virus Precautions

Peskov said the Russian leader so far isn’t changing his schedule as a precaution amid the spread of coronavirus. He declined to comment on whether Putin would be tested for the virus after it emerged Thursday that a legislator who was present in parliament for his address Wednesday had recently traveled to France and defied regulations mandating he quarantine himself for 14 days after he returned. The legislator, as well as colleagues and staffers who came into contact with him were ordered into self-quarantine Thursday.

“I’m convinced the president didn’t come into contact with that deputy,” Peskov said.

Asked whether the 67-year-old leader was taking special precautions, Peskov said only, “presidential medicine is a special dimension.”

Still, Peskov opened his regular conference call Thursday with an appeal to journalists not to come to Kremlin events if they were experiencing any cold or flu symptoms.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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