MOSCOW (AP) – Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed revising the constitution on Wednesday to strengthen the powers of Parliament and the cabinet. This move signals Putin's intention to fill a new position after his current term of office has ended.
Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev submitted his resignation hours after Putin's discussion of constitutional changes during his speech on the state of the nation.
The Russian leader thanked Medvedev for his service, but said the Prime Minister's cabinet had not achieved all of his goals. Putin said in television reports that Medvedev would assume a new position as Vice-President of the President's Security Council.
Medvedev, a long-time close ally of Putin, has been Russia's prime minister since 2012. Before that, he served as president for four years from 2008 to 2012, and became a placeholder when Putin had to change to the post of prime minister due to constitutional term restrictions.
Medvedev obediently resigned after just one term as president, leaving Putin to regain leadership in a widely viewed cynical political maneuver that sparked massive protests in Moscow
Putin urged members of the Medvedev cabinet to continue working until a new cabinet is formed.
Medvedev's resignation followed Putin's annual speech on Wednesday. During his speech, the Russian leader proposed to amend the constitution to increase the powers of the prime ministers and cabinet members.
The proposed move is seen as part of Putin's efforts to create a new position of power to stay in control after his current term as president in 2024.