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MOSCOW, October 18 (Itar-Tass) —— Prime Minister Vladimir Putin gave an interview to heads of three federal TV channels on Monday. The recent settlement of the problem of power was the main topic of the conversation. The journalists asked Putin why he is returning to the Kremlin. In the opinion of the mass media, Putin’s interview is in line with the recent interview, given by President Dmitry Medvedev to the same TV channels.
Putin and Medvedev openly declare that they will fight for power (both of them stress that the final decision will be made by the electors) until the country gets ready for the change of power, The Kommersant writes. Putin describes as “a period of stable development” the time, when he and his associates run the country. Accordingly, the stable period will need stable power, which, in the opinion of Putin, should rely not only on the upper circles (which is also very important, he believes), but also on the support of the population. This permits Putin not to pay attention to the fact that “there are people in the so-called elites, who act as his opponents.”
Any personnel changes should be well grounded, and “a frequent reshuffling of ministers is evidence of the weakness of the top leaders,” Putin said, responding to the question on whether the ministers, who work ineffectively for a long time, should be sacked. According to Putin, “before anyone is sacked, all possible measures should be taken for making him work.” On this issue there are differences between Putin and Medvedev, The Kommersant writes.
The Kommersant points to the fact that Putin expressed his opinion of Medvedev’s performance on the post of president for the first time. He admitted that at some moment “Medvedev found it necessary to make some aspects of our public life more humane.” Putin is not going to change radically what has been done, because he wishes “to see how this is going to work.” In other words, the incumbent Prime Minister will not object to the incumbent President taking over his post and to working in the same way as in the Kremlin.
The Komsomolskaya Pravda calls attention to Putin’s words about the coming changes in the top echelons of the United Russia Party (UR).
In the opinion of experts, the tandem is following two purposes, The Nezavisimaya Gazeta writes. On the one hand, the President and the Prime Minister are going to support UR and to keep regional elites from hasty and ill-considered actions. On the other hand, they intend to convince the electorate that changes are possible among the UR leaders.
Andrei Ryabov, member of the scientific council of the Moscow Carnegie Centre, believes that uncertainty about UR was growing during the past week. “Their electoral campaign is not going smoothly with Medvedev as the leader of the Party. Many people get the impression that the national leader does not actually need the Party very much… The impression is that belief in the unshakeable strength of UR has been eroded, and not only among the public, but also among a great number of Russian officials. Most probably, an open information intervention of the tandem was needed for reiterating once again that nothing has been changed,” he said.