‘We have laid out a certain future so you should
Medvedev says he and Putin here to stay
RUSSIA: Russia's outgoing President Dmitry Medvedev on Thursday said
his job swap with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin will assure a continuity
of power that lasts “a long time” despite anger on the street.
Medvedev told the nation ahead of Putin's May 7 inauguration to a
third term as president that he initially bristled at the idea of being
viewed as the weaker link of a leadership “tandem” with his mentor Putin.
But Russia's only president to serve a single term -- a lawyer by
training whose liberal leanings brought initial hopes of political
change -- said he soon got used to the idea and now felt perfectly
comfortable being politically wedded to Putin.
“There is nothing unusual about this,” Medvedev said in the live
studio interview. “We have laid out a certain future. So you should
relax. This is all for a long time,” said Medvedev.
The comments will confirm suspicions among some liberals that
Medvedev has only paid lip service to reform causes since entering the
Kremlin in 2008, while in fact ensuring the preservation of the status
Medvedev once famously slammed the ruling United Russia party, which
he will now head as part of his September deal with Putin, saying it was
“showing symptoms of stagnation.” But he conceded on Thursday that he
saw nothing wrong with politicians who changed their minds.
“I have always said that my positions are never set in stone,” said
“I think that is normal. And those who claim to have kept the same
position since they graduated from college are liars.” Medvedev's
decision to trade places with the ex-KGB spy helped feed months of
street protests that only abated after Putin's thumping March 4 election
The protest movement hopes to stage one more massive rally on the eve
of Putin's inauguration before switching tactics and focusing attention
on local election campaigns. AFP