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Putin says he'll be Prime Minister under Medvedev

Russian President Vladimir Putin has agreed to become Prime Minister if Dmitry Medvedev is elected Russia's next president in March. He stressed there will be no redistribution of power between the two posts. Meanwhile Medvedev has been officially nominat

More then 2,000 delegates gathered at United Russia's convention on Monday. Most of them weren’t surprised by the day’s developments.

Six weeks ago, while addressing the United Russia party members, Vladimir Putin said he didn’t exclude the possibility of becoming Russia’s Prime Minister after the March election. At the time he named two conditions for this to happen. The first one was the victory of the United Russia party at the parliamentary election in December, which has already happened. The second condition was electing a president with whom Vladimir Putin could, as he put it, ‘work with’.

Dmitry Medvedev fits the bill. Putin and Medvedev have worked together for 17 years and Putin seems to be satisfied with their partnership.

“If the citizens of Russia show confidence in Dmitry Medvedev and elect him Russia's president I will be ready to go on with our common cause as Russia's prime minister,” Vladimir Putin said on Monday.

Dmitry Medvedev also seems to be satisfied with Putin’s decision.

“I believe we can implement our strategy only together with a man who proposed that. This is why I believe it’s crucial that he must head the government if I manage to win the March election. And I’m glad that Vladimir Putin has accepted my offer,” Dmitry Medvedev stressed.

Meanwhile, Tatyana Malkina, political analyst  and the Editor-in-Chief of the Otechestvennie Zapiski magazine, said she was surprised, because as many other experts she “thought that the whole idea of Putin becoming Prime Minister was more of the pre-election way of supporting Medvedev and making him a stronger candidate”. 

“Still, there is a chance from my point of view, that even if Putin becomes Prime Minister, it won’t be for too long,” she said.

Around 25 people have voiced their intention to run for presidency in the upcoming election so far. The First Deputy Prime Minister is the clear favourite, enjoying the support of four parties, including Russia's ruling party, which won 64% of the vote during the parliamentary election in February.

Andrey Kortunov, a political analyst and the President of the New Eurasia Foundation in Moscow, says Dmitry Medvedev “is a person of the new generation: he is young, ambitious, well-educated”.

“He is probably the person to lead the country for the next couple of years. Definitely he belongs to Putin’s team, but he has to start moving the country ahead, he has to deal with issues of corruption and administrative reform and incompetence of state bureaucrats – mostly domestic problems. But also he’ll have to deal with international issues because we still face a major problem of how to get Russia integrated into the global community,” he said.

With the ever-popular President Vladimir Putin also backing him, Medvedev's chances of winning the election are almost assured.