Medvedev: Putin's More Popular Than I Am

Russian prime minister says he's no seat-warmer
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 30, 2011 5:53 PM CDT
On Friday, Sept. 30, 2011, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is seen during a TV interview.   (AP photo/RIA Novosti, Dmitry Astakhov, Presidential Press service)

(Newser) – Russian President Dmitry Medvedev insists he's no seat-warmer for Vladimir Putin, the BBC reports. In a Russian TV interview shot today, Medvedev says he's letting Prime Minister Putin run for president in the next election because Putin is more popular. "Prime Minister Putin is now unquestionably the most authoritative politician in our country," says Medvedev. "His rating is somewhat higher."

Medvedev promises "a pivotal renewal of the government—a government consisting of new people" in December's parliamentary elections. A co-founder of the opposition People's Freedom Party has predicted "giant corruption" in Russian politics, but Medvedev disagrees: "The choice is made by the people, and these are not empty words—that's absolutely the way it is." (Read more Dmitry Medvedev stories.)

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