The Paw Print
Moscow – Vladimir Putin, current Prime Minister of Russia, has announced that he is planning to reclaim the Russian presidency in March of next year. Putin served at this position from 2000 to 2008, but under new laws may be able to serve as president till 2024.
The current president, Dmitri Medvedev, will step down and likely take the office of Prime Minister. There is apparently an existing arrangement between the two men.
“I want to say directly: An agreement over what to do in the future was reached between us several years ago,” Putin said at the United Russia Party convention on Saturday. Medvedev concurred that this was a “deeply thought out decision” and indicated that the men were cooperating.
“I believe it would be right for the congress to support the candidacy of Vladimir Putin in the presidential election,” said Medvedev Saturday, also stating “The most important thing is that the choice always remains with you, with the whole people.”
The United Russian Party supports both of these candidates and is by far the largest political party in Russia. This is not expected to change in the near future, and has led to some questions about the way democracy is working in Russia. Although there may be some 25 candidates, Putin is unlikely to be challenged.
The United Russia congress voted on the list of candidates to be supported by the party. Putin alone was approved 582 delegates to one, with four invalid ballots.
The only other Russian dissenter seems to be the Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin, a man who receives much of the credit for the growth of Russia’s economy.
“I do not see myself in the new government. The point is not only that no one has offered me the job. I think that the disagreements I have will not allow me to join the government,” Kudrin said, just hours after Putin’s announcement.
Putin’s spokesman Dmitri Peskov explained Medvedev-Putin policy after the two men met on Sunday.
“The tandem proved their unity. Any possible tactical nuances and disaccord are possible between Dmitry Medvedev and Vladimir Putin, but they are strategically united. Someone disagrees with the strategic approaches of the tandem. He will leave the team. A qualitatively new government will be formed and the president and the prime minister have talked about it today.”
The change in leadership does not seem to promise much change in policy, presumably because of the accord between Putin and Medvedev.
“Everyone knows that Putin runs Russia,” said an anonymous official, “Remembering this obvious fact means that Putin has supported the reset with the U.S.”
Madvedev indicates that he will still be an integral part of Russia’s government.
“A new government should be formed in our country, and if we succeed in doing this, I’m ready to head the government and work for the benefit of the country.”
Kremlin chief-of-staff Sergei Naryshkin went even further. “I dare suggest that after the victory at the parliamentary and presidential election Dmitry Anatolyevich Medvedev may head the United Russia Party.”
Putin promises to continue economic growth in Russia by enforcing more taxes on the upper class and providing more government assistance.
“There is nothing that can stop us… we have to build an innovative economy, strengthen our political institutions, but if we really want to succeed, our priority, our focus should always be our citizens, the citizens of Russia,” said Putin.