Vladimir Putin has signed legislation that will grant former presidents of Russia lifetime immunity once they leave the office.
The bill, which was published online on Tuesday, gives former presidents and their families immunity from prosecution for crimes committed during their lifetime.
They will also be exempt from questioning by police or investigators, as well as searches or arrests.
Last month the pending bills sparked rumors that the longtime Russian leader was planning to step down because of poor health – a claim the Kremlin denied.
But the legislation Putin signed on Tuesday will additionally grant former presidents a lifetime seat in the federation council or senate, a position that assures immunity from prosecution upon leaving the presidency.
The other laws signed by Putin allow presidents to name up to 30 senators to the Federation Council, Russia’s upper house, and to join the Council themselves once they have left office.