Vladimir Putin has signed a law granting former presidents of Russia lifetime immunity once they leave office.
The bill, which was posted online on Tuesday, gives former presidents and their families immunity from prosecution for crimes they committed during their lives.
They will also be exempt from being questioned by the police or investigators, as well as from being searched or arrested.
Legislation was part of the The constitutional amendments passed this summer A nationwide vote allows Putin, 68, to stay in the presidency until 2036.
Before the bill became law, former presidents were immune from prosecution only for crimes committed while in office.
Now a former president could still be stripped of immunity if accused of treason or other serious crimes and the charges confirmed by the higher and constitutional courts.
But legislation signed by Putin on Tuesday also gives former presidents a life seat in the Federation Council or the Senate, a position that guarantees immunity from prosecution upon leaving the presidency.
Last month, pending bills sparked rumors that the long-time Russian leader was planning to step down due to his deteriorating health – a claim the Kremlin denied.
On Tuesday, the State Duma passed legislation making confidential information about employees of the Russian justice system, law enforcement agencies, regulatory and military bodies in Russia.
The bill now requires Putin’s signature to become law, a step that is a formality.
This comes a day after opposition Alexei Navalny announced that he had phoned an alleged security agent and deceived him He admitted that the Federal Security Service (FSB) tried to kill him In August, poisoned.
Navalny said he gained access to the security agent’s phone number from leaked records and travel records.
The Kremlin critic later published the alleged agent’s address and phone number, measures that would become illegal under the newly proposed legislation.