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Russian parliament confirms Putin as prime minister

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  • Greg Cannon
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080508/ap_on_re_eu/russia_putin Russian parliament confirms Putin as prime minister By STEVE GUTTERMAN, Associated Press Writer 1
    Message 1 of 1 , May 8, 2008
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      http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080508/ap_on_re_eu/russia_putin

      Russian parliament confirms Putin as prime minister

      By STEVE GUTTERMAN, Associated Press Writer 1 hour, 51
      minutes ago

      MOSCOW - Loyal lawmakers confirmed Vladimir Putin as
      prime minister Thursday, capping a carefully
      engineered recast of Russia's leadership a day after
      he handed the presidency to his protege Dmitry
      Medvedev.

      The State Duma approved Putin in an overwhelming
      392-56 vote after Medvedev told lawmakers that Putin
      had restored the world's respect for Russia and
      improved the lives of its citizens in eight years as
      president.

      Medvedev said he would sign a decree making Putin
      prime minister later in the day.

      Putin's unprecedented move from the Kremlin to the No.
      2 post will keep him politically prominent for the
      foreseeable future and could serve as a springboard
      back to the presidency. It has Russians wondering who
      will really hold the country's reins.

      The switch comes after months of political maneuvering
      by the popular Putin to maintain a role in ruling
      Russia after stepping down. Barred by term limits from
      running in the March presidential vote, he anointed
      Medvedev as his favored successor in December and
      pledged to serve as his prime minister.

      Medvedev formally nominated Putin in one of his first
      acts as president Wednesday. His confirmation was
      never in doubt in the Duma, the lower parliament
      house, where his United Russia party holds 315 of the
      450 seats.

      Presenting his nominee to a rare full house at the
      Duma on Thursday, Medvedev said lawmakers' applause
      "means that Vladimir Vladimirovich needs no special
      recommendation" and credited his mentor with
      recharging Russia's economy and raising its global
      stature.

      "Russia is respected once again," Medvedev said.

      Medvedev suggested Putin would have a strong influence
      on Russian policy for years to come. He said Putin had
      been involved in setting goals for the country's
      development through 2020 and "as Cabinet chairman will
      play a key role in their realization."
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