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Medvedev: Putin’s puppet or face of Russia’s liberal future?

Presidential candidate Dmitry Medvedev’s relative youth and energy are being seen as positives by the international community, ahead of next year’s election. However the U.S. is concerned about a concentration of power in Russia after Vladimir Putin threw

Many American and European media outlets say the whole idea of Putin ‘nominating his successor’ is in essence undemocratic. They say the President has made the choice for the people, which is wrong, and use terms like ‘Tsar Putin’ and ‘Prince Medvedev’ to describe the situation.

Critics also point out that Medvedev is Putin’s man, and claim the new president will be controlled from the shadows by the former one.

However, supporters cite the long relationship between Medvedev and Putin as good sign as it will be vital for anyone who would want to lead Russia.

“The last thing people want to see would be some kind of a rivalry between Mr Putin and who ever would become Russian president. With Mr Medvedev likely to be elected, I think about a new team in the head of Russia rather than a full scale succession,” said Dimitri Simes, President of Nixon Center.

The stability of power coming with Medvedev succeeding Putin is reassuring for both domestic elites and foreign investors, experts say.

Some analysts also stress that being young for a Russian politician means being a man from the new Russia, not from the old Soviet Union.

“All of his [Medvedev’s] professional experience has been after the Soviet Union collapsed. He has made his way, climbed up the ranks in Saint Petersburg, working with Mr Putin and than coming to Moscow through series of positions all in a new Russia which is not the Soviet Union,” explained Andrew Kuchins, Senior Fellow and Director of the CSIS Russia and Eurasia Program.

The media also say Medvedev is considered a liberal man in the President’s team, and that may help him thaw the cold with Washington.

Both critics and supporters agree that with Putin’s support and no strong opposition leaders in Russia the presidency is almost in Medvedev’s pocket.

Meanwhile, RT's correspondent Oksana Boyko reports that Dmitry Medvedev has already secured many votes at his alma mater, St. Petersburg State University. Medvedev worked there as an assistant professor for almost a decade.

To learn more about the beginning of Dmitry Medvedev’s career, please, follow link