A Thursday report from the British tabloid The Sun made the stunning allegation that Russian President Vladimir Putin is planning to soon step down due to health concerns.
In its report, The Sun cited “Moscow sources” who said Putin “has possible symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease.” According to U.S. News & World Report, however, the Kremlin “insisted” Friday that Putin “is in good health and has no plans to resign.”
Future unclear in Russia
It remains unclear how much — if any — of The Sun‘s report is true, and it hasn’t been independently verified.
The Kremlin, for its part, is denying the tabloid’s allegations wholeheartedly.
“There isn’t much to comment on here,” Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in response to the rumors, according to Breitbart. “This is pure nonsense. The president is well.” Peskov also said Putin is in “excellent” health.
But as Breitbart noted, The Sun is reporting differently. Valery Solovei, who the tabloid described as a “Moscow political scientist,” said Putin’s family is putting the pressure on him to resign.
“There is a family, it has a great influence on him,” Solovei reportedly told The Sun. “He intends to make public his handover plans in January.”
Major shift in world politics
At 68 years old, Putin has led Russia for more than two decades. If he does step down, it would mark a major shift on the geopolitical scene — and that might not be the only big change coming in 2021.
Former Vice President Joe Biden declared victory in the presidential race against Donald Trump on Saturday night, saying in a speech in Delaware that voters had “delivered [his campaign] a clear victory, a convincing victory,” according to NPR.
But if Biden does pull through in the Electoral College after recounts in states like Georgia, and if Putin indeed ends up calling his decades-long career quits, two new world leaders could mean a whole new relationship between the U.S. and Russia.
Only time will tell what the future holds for both nations, but at least one thing is clear: we’re in for some big changes over these next four years.