Russia's Putin confirms Medvedev to be PM next year

MOSCOW Thu Dec 15, 2011 7:09pm IST

Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev meets with leaders of parliamentary political parties at the Gorki presidential residence outside Moscow December 13, 2011. REUTERS/Dmitry Astakhov/RIA Novosti/Kremlin

Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev meets with leaders of parliamentary political parties at the Gorki presidential residence outside Moscow December 13, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Dmitry Astakhov/RIA Novosti/Kremlin

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MOSCOW (Reuters) - Vladimir Putin confirmed on Thursday that he intends to appoint Dmitry Medvedev as prime minister following a March presidential election that is expected to return Putin to Russia's highest office.

"United Russia got a majority" in a December 4 parliamentary election in which Medvedev, now president, led the ruling party's ticket, Putin told reporters after a televised call-in show.

"That is an unconditional victory, although with losses. I think that Dmitry Anatolyevich (Medvedev) can form a government and work effectively," he said.

Putin, now prime minister, revealed in September that he planned to run for president and make Medvedev his prime minister, but he had hinted the plan might change if United Russia did badly in the parliamentary vote.

(Reporting by Darya Korsunskaya,; Writing by Steve Gutterman, Editing by Douglas Busvine)

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