Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, President of Kalmykia, has announced he will step down when his fourth term in office expires next month.
Ilyumzhinov, who has led the Buddhist republic since 1993, said he would spend his retirement trying to organize a visit to Kalmykia by the Dalai Lama. He also hopes to continue as the president of the International Chess Federation -- he is quite passionate about chess, and has done much to promote the game.
President Ilyumzhinov is a devout Buddhist who has been of great benefit to the people of his nation. We send best wishes, and all respect.