Moscow, Feb 20 (IANS) Russian President Vladimir Putin has revealed that he had notified former Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev about the governments resignation beforehand, a media report said on Thursday.
“We have enjoyed very frank, collegial, friendly relations with Dmitry Anatolyevich Medvedev for many years. We have no secrets from one another. So we discussed this issue with him,” Putin told TASS News in an interview.
“We had discussed it earlier and he knew what was going on.”
Putin also ruled out speculations that the Cabinet’s resignation looked like a “special operation”.
However, he stopped short of disclosing whether anyone else other than Medvedev and himself had prior knowledge of these plans, or when the corresponding decision was made.
As to whether the reshuffle has created an impression of hastiness, Putin said that each step had been discussed and thought through in advance and a gap in power would plunge the country into a mess, Xinhua news agency quoted the TASS News report as saying.
He added that Medvedev’s new position as deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council was not equal to Vice President, although Putin himself serves as the Council’s chairman.
Putin said that he listened to the views of new Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin when forming the cabinet, and that qualification is the main criterion for selecting candidates for ministerial posts.
Some officials from the president’s office have entered the new cabinet because it was logical to leave the implementation of national projects at the government level to those who have prepared for it in the Kremlin, Putin said.
Medvedev and his entire government resigned on January 15 and a day later, Putin appointed Mishustin, the former head of the Russian Federal Tax Service, as new Prime Minister and Medvedev as deputy chairman of the Security Council.