Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday, December 22, signed legislation that will grant presidents lifetime immunity after they leave office.
The bill exempts former presidents and their families 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.
The bill was also part of constitutional amendments approved this summer in a nationwide vote which allow Vladimir Putin to remain in office until 2036.
However, prior to the bill becoming law, former presidents were immune from prosecution only for crimes committed while in office.
A former president can still be stripped of immunity if accused of treason or other grave crimes and the charges are confirmed by the Supreme and Constitutional courts.
But with this new bill President Putin signed today, it 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.