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Parliament welcomes Putin as prime minister

Parliament welcomes Putin as prime minister
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Russia’s parliament has rubber-stamped the choice of Vladimir Putin as the country’s new prime minister.

Putin stepped down as president yesterday, and handed over to his preferred successor
Dmitry Medvedev.

Medvedev immediately nominated Putin for the post of prime minister, and Putin set out his programme.

He said he was convinced that Russia had every chance of increasing the competitive potential of its economy, of improving it by developing more innovative means of production.

“We must, over the next ten to 15 years, get into the top ten ranking of world countries in terms of the quality of life of our citizens.”

Earlier, Putin accompanied his protégé to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Moscow. The ceremony marks Victory in Europe day. There will be further commemorations tomorrow.

Putin has been manoeuvring for months to keep close to the centre of power in Russia. Having ruled for two terms, he was constitutionally-barred from a third consecutive presidency.

His confirmation as premier was never in doubt as his party holds most of the seats in parliament.

One Moscow resident interviewed said that Putin had experience. “He was a prime minister before, and managed just fine. His return to the premiership was a natural step in Russian politics.”

An elderly local woman disagreed. “Putin is not a specialist and he made a lot of mistakes during his rule. Russia is now in a very poor condition.”

Medvedev says his predecessor will play a key role in Russia’s long-term development.

It remains to be seen who really is now holding the reins of power in Moscow.

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