Who Rules Russia? Medvedev Announcement Proves It’s Putin

(Ivan Sekretarev/AP Photo)

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev today removed any doubt that his term in office has been a caretaker session, when he endorsed Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s candidacy in 2012.

“I believe it would be right if the congress support party leader Vladimir Putin’s candidacy for president,” Medvedev said today at a meeting of the United Russia party, according to Interfax.

Putin, who served two terms as president before allowing Medvedev to take office in 2008, now could be president for two more six-year terms, meaning he would rule Russian until 2024.

That his party, which controls both houses of the Russian legislature, was ready for the news of a Putin presidency, was clear when the delegates rose for a standing ovation at Medvedev’s remarks.

“This applause spares me of the need to explain what experience and authority Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin possesses,” Medvedev said.

There had been speculation about whether Medvedev would run for a second term, challenging his mentor, and some of his advisors have said they thought he wanted to.