Putin says he'll be prime minister

Updated: 2007-12-17 22:11

MOSCOW - President Vladimir Putin told a congress of Russia's dominant party Monday that he would agree to become prime minister if Dmitry Medvedev is elected as his successor.

Putin's statement virtually ensures that the 42-year-old Medvedev, seen as business-friendly and non-hawkish, will be elected president March 2.

When Medvedev got Putin's endorsement last week, he quickly proposed that Putin become prime minister after the election. Putin had not publicly responded previously.

Putin told the United Russia congress that if he became premier, he would not seek to change the distribution of power between the president and prime minister. In Russia, the prime minister is a significantly less powerful figure than the president.

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