Chechnya's regional leader says he is willing to step down when his term ends in early April.

Ramzan Kadyrov said Saturday in televised remarks that "the nation's leadership needs to find another person so that my name isn't used against my people."

Russia's liberal opposition activists have accused Kadyrov of involvement in the killing of a prominent Kremlin critic, Boris Nemtsov a year ago. Kadyrov rejected the accusations.

President Vladimir Putin has relied on Kadyrov to stabilize Chechnya after two separatist wars, making him effectively immune from federal controls. Kadyrov's unparalleled privileges and defiant ways have earned him numerous enemies in Russia's law enforcement agencies, whose leaders have pushed for his dismissal.

Nemtsov's killing raised pressure on Kadyrov, because the suspected triggerman was an officer in his security force.