What to expect from the `dream team`?

The presidential race is in full swing in Russia. Meanwhile, race favourite Dmitry Medvedev has received another boost from the current president. Vladimir Putin has agreed to become Prime Minister if Medvedev wins the presidential election.

Economists have already labelled their pair “the dream team”.

“I think Dmitry Medvedev is one of the best candidates for the post. His democratic views are widely known. His work experience inspires confidence. I think that the power duo Medvedev-Putin, if it happens, will be the most effective, if not the best one,” says businessman Viktor Vekselberg.

The 42-year-old, who is a trained lawyer, chairs Russia’s gas monopoly Gazprom and used to be the president’s chief-of-staff before becoming First Deputy Prime Minister.

Many of his key responsibilities in government lie in the social sector such as housing, education and health. These are known as national priority projects.

He has been praised for the fact that he has no prior links with security services. He also holds pro-business, free-market views.

Medvedev’s chairmanship of Gazprom has coincided with the company’s greatest accomplishments. First of all, Gazprom launched its shares on the market resulting in one of Russia’s most successful IPOs. Second, Gazprom succeeded in pushing gas prices up to a world market level.

Putin as prime minister has already boosted Medvedev’s chances of winning in the first round of the presidential race.

But is Putin's course dependent on one man? How will a new arrangement function with power so much concentrated in the hands of the president?

“He [Medvedev] will be a very strong president – young, dynamic, liberal – with a very strong prime minister still holding great power,” believes Russian TV anchor Vladimir Solovyov.

Experts hope that such an alignment will loosen the grip of the president’s administration and divide the powers between the ruling party, the ministerial cabinet and the parliament without changing the constitution. With such an outcome there could be two focal points of power, one at the Kremlin and one at the White House.

The Central Election Commission's deadline for accepting applications from independent candidates has now passed.