Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev presented today, Wednesday, the resignation of his government to President Vladimir Putin, in a sudden step that followed a speech by the latter in which he announced a reform of the constitution.
"As the government of the Russian Federation, we must provide the president of our country with the means to take all the necessary measures, and for this reason (...) the government resigns in its current form," Medvedev said - very close to Putin - in televised comments.
He clarified that he resigned following the president's decision to make "fundamental changes in the Russian constitution", considering that these reforms would change the executive, legislative and judicial "balance of powers".
Reforms to the constitution
For his part, Putin proposed a series of reforms to the Russian constitution that would give Parliament the power to appoint the Prime Minister, which is one of the powers of the President at the present time.
Putin directed Medvedev to continue to play the role of Prime Minister until the formation of a new government.
In a televised statement, Putin said Medvedev would be appointed as vice-president of the Russian National Security Council, which is chaired by the president.
The statements sparked media speculation that Putin may be considering returning to the prime minister after his fourth term in office expires four years from now.
It is reported that Putin, 67, has assumed power as prime minister or prime minister for two decades, and he is thus the first Russian or Soviet president to remain in power for the longest time since Joseph Stalin.