Vladimir Putin does like to surprise. Having launched a series of constitutional reforms, he said there should be a hard two-term limit for a president but then conceded that if the Duma thought the clock ought to be reset to zero and the Constitutional Court agreed, he would accept that, writes Mark Galeotti for foreignpolicy.com.
This is, after all, classic Putin. One of the most problematic Western myths about him is that he is some kind of deep and subtle schemer, the geopolitical grandmaster playing three-dimensional chess with the world. He is actually quite the opposite, the judo fighter seeking and reacting to the opportunities that arise.
The Russian president’s goal isn’t necessarily to be president for life. Unless it is.