President Vladimir Putin does not think Singapore could be a model for the leadership transition in Russia.
Speaking at a televised meeting with students in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, he was asked whether his country should consider the Singapore model.
Mr Putin, 67, said that it was not appropriate for his country but asked the student: “You want me to be Minister Mentor?”
Last week, Russia announced a shake-up of its political system, fuelling speculation that Mr Putin might want to consolidate his grip on power even after he completes another term as President in 2024.
Observers and critics say Mr Putin would want to be a dominant figure in the political affairs of the country beyond 2024, according to the South China Morning Post.
After serving as Prime Minister and Senior Minister, Lee Kuan Yew became Minister Mentor. Although it was an advisory position, some saw it as a means for him to keep a grip on Cabinet decisions.
Mr Putin had praise for Lee.
In reply to the student, he said: “He was an outstanding man … That’s true, he was, I don’t know, around 30 years in power, and he founded the country, that’s true … You want me to be the Minister Mentor?
“What you propose, would undermine the institution of the Presidency. I think that for such a country as Russia this is not applicable.”
Mr Putin is the dominant figure in Russian politics. He served as President from 2000 to 2008 and Prime Minister from 2008 to 2012.
He was elected President again in 2012 and in 2018.
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