Russian President Vladimir Putin will temporarily hand over power to hardline Security Council head and former Federal Security Service (FSB) commander Nikolai Patrushev as he might undergo cancer surgery, as per international media reports.
Last month, Putin was seen tightly gripping a desk during his meeting with Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu.
According to a report by The New York Post, doctors have reportedly suggested Putin undergo the operation.
The report cited a Telegram channel purportedly run by a former Russian Foreign Intelligence Service lieutenant general.
In recent times, Putin has reportedly exhibited 'uncharacteristically fidgety behaviour in public' and a 'sickly appearance', following which the President has been rumoured to suffer from cancer and a host of other serious maladies, including Parkinson’s disease, India Today reported.
Patrushev is the secretary of Russia's Security Council, which is an influential body that answers directly to Putin and issues guidance on military and security issues within Russia. Most of the council’s power is vested in Patrushev, who is widely seen as a staunch Putin ally.
Putin is unlikely to agree to hand over power for an extended period of time, said reports.