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MOSCOW, May 22 (Itar-Tass) — Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has become a member of the ruling United Russia party.
On Tuesday, Medvedev received a party membership card from Lydia Aleshina, the secretary of Moscow’s Ramenki district party arm, where the prime minister had applied for membership.
In late April, the then Russian Prime Minister and President Elect Vladimir Putin, who had been United Russia’s leader since 2008, said that he was leaving the party post as soon as he was inaugurated as the country’s president. To justify his decision, Putin said that the president should not be affiliated with any party. He then recommended Dmitry Medvedev, the then Russian President who had topped the party’s election list at the December 2011 parliamentary elections, to be elected United Russia’s leader. At a meeting with party activists on April 27, Medvedev officially accepted the invitation to lead the party and said he would ask for membership in United Russia. “I have never been a liberal. I am a man of conservative values,” he then said.
An official decision of relieving Putin of the duties of the United Russia leader and elected Medvedev to the post is to be taken by a party congress due on May 26.