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Russia hits out at US bid not to recognize Putin's presidency after 2024

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a speech during the Russian Foreign Ministry Board, in Moscow, on November 18, 2021. (Photo by AFP)

Moscow has denounced a bill drafted by US lawmakers that aims to make it law not to recognize Vladimir Putin as president of Russia should he win another term after 2024, describing the attempt as absurd and provocative.

Congressman Steve Cohen and Joe Wilson of South Carolina introduced the congressional resolution on Thursday, accusing Putin of being an "autocrat." Putin's term as president is due to end in 2024, but he can seek two more terms under constitutional amendments. Describing the amendments as illegal, Cohen and Wilson said any attempt by Putin to remain in office after May 2024 "shall warrant no recognition on the part of the United States."

Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov described the initiative as "absurd, aggressive, unfriendly, and unconstructive."

"This is a perfect demonstration not only to Russia, but to all the countries of the world that the United States officially interferes in the internal affairs of other countries," Peskov said, adding that it was up to Russians to choose their president.

The deputy speaker of Russia's upper house of parliament, Konstantin Kosachev, also said the resolution was "a provocation designed to disrupt the nascent normalization of bilateral relations" between Russia and the United States.

"This time the Americans have started meddling in the presidential elections rather early on," he wrote on Facebook.

First Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council Committee on International Affairs Vladimir Jabarov warned that the bill "will lead to a rupture of Russia's relations with the United States" if it is passed. He called the draft "devoid of any common sense" and said he was unconvinced it would be passed by Congress.

Chairman of the State Duma Committee on International Affairs Leonid Slutsky branded the resolution as a provocation that "does not originate from any great intellect or any competence." The senator said US lawmakers should focus on their own antiquated electoral system.

Putin, who has been in power as president or prime minister since the turn of the century, has not said whether he plans to run again in 2024. The Russian president has described his government's relations with Washington as "unsatisfactory" but said he is open to dialog.

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