Russian economist and former economic adviser to President Vladimir Putin Andrei Illarionov has said Ukraine and other neighbors of Russia will now be in much greater danger after the Russian leader's decision to amend that country's Constitution.

"Both Ukraine and other states that turned out to be neighbors of the 'totalitarian state' will now be in much greater danger than they were before," he said in an interview with Ukrainian journalist Dmytro Gordon.

"It is clear that neither Mr. Medvedev [the Russian prime minister who has recently resigned] nor other 'system liberals' had ever made or even tried to show any resistance to the aggressive imperial plans of the Kremlin-led security forces. But now there is no one at all in the leadership of the state who is inherently different from the security forces. Therefore, we can expect only new stages of provocations and the implementation of new imperial scenarios. First of all, of course, in relation to Ukraine and Belarus, but also in relation to other states," Illarionov said.

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As UNIAN reported earlier, on January 15, 2020, Putin delivered his annual address to the Federal Assembly, proposing amendments to the Russian Constitution.

He proposed that the status and role of the State Council be enshrined in the Constitution. Putin also proposed that the Russian Constitution be superior to international treaties, and state and municipal authorities be in closer interaction. What is more, he wants to authorize the State Duma to approve nominees to the posts of the prime minister and all his/her deputies and federal ministers upon the premier's submission.

In addition, the Russian president proposed an amendment regarding the mandatory observance of the requirements (citizenship and length of residence) by members of the government, parliament and leaders of subjects of the federation. The amendment also suggests tougher requirements for the president (a term of office).

According to him, citizens of Russia will be invited to vote for amendments to the Constitution. Putin's presidency is expiring in 2024, and in accordance with the Constitution of the Russian Federation, he will no longer be able to run for president.

The same day, January 15, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev told Putin that the entire government was resigning.

On January 16, Mikhail Mishustin was appointed new Russian Prime Minister.