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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Security Council the Focus Of Talk About Putin's Plans

President Vladimir Putin's aides plan to beef up the Security Council, effectively turning it into a parallel cabinet ahead of his departure next year, the Gazeta daily reported Thursday.

Putin has said he plans to retain political influence after he steps down at the end of his second term next year, and analysts have speculated that a Security Council with new powers could give him the platform to do so.

Gazeta cited a Kremlin source as saying Putin's staff was preparing a new document upgrading the status of the council, an advisory board comprising top officials.

The source said the council's powers would be strongly enhanced and that it would transform into a body overseeing the so-called "power ministries," which include the Defense Ministry and the Federal Security Service, Gazeta reported. Both currently report directly to the president. The council would also hammer out a national political strategy, the report said.

There was no confirmation from the Kremlin that it planned to upgrade the council. Putin himself poured cold water on such suggestions last week, saying he did not see any point in giving it more powers.

Putin has ruled out changing the Constitution to give him another term. He says he will step down after the March presidential election.

The Security Council, along with top posts in gas giant Gazprom and pro-Kremlin party United Russia, have been mentioned by analysts among Putin's potential future jobs.

The role of Security Council chief is now vacant after incumbent Igor Ivanov resigned earlier this month.

Some analysts have said Putin may seek to emulate Deng Xiaoping, who was China's effective ruler during the 1980s without occupying any formal top government posts.