Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday announced the delay in a key constitutional vote that proposes amendments to the constitution.
The constitutional vote initially scheduled for April 22 can allow Putin to stay President even after 2024.
In a speech to the nation on Wednesday, the president outlined a series of additional measures on Russia's COVID-19 response, including measures to help stabilize the economic situation, such as the prolonging of all social benefits on an automatic basis, SPUTNIK reported.
Putin asked the cabinet to give small businesses a six month tax holiday, apart from sale tax and asked the Central Bank to take other measures to prevent layoffs and bankruptcies, including a six month holiday on bank credit payments, including mortgage payments and consumer loans, for individuals who have suffered a 30 percent or more decline in monthly income.
Addressing ordinary Russians, Putin urged citizens not to give in to the "Russian cross-your-finger mentality" on the coronavirus. "Please do not give in to the idea that 'ah this will not affect me'. It can affect anyone."
According to the President, a nonchalant attitude on this crisis could cause the type of chaos afflicting many Western countries to hit Russia in a similar way.
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