Dimitry Medvedev assumed the postion of president of Russia which marks an historic development in the evolution of Russian government since the collapse of communism. Mnutes before the swearing in ceremony, Vladmir Putin had thanked the Russian people for their support and urged everyone to rally behind his protege, Medvedev. Interestingly, no foreign media were in attendance for the ceremony. In the coming days, Putin will be designated as both head of the United Russia political party and the new prime minister. For the first time in Russian history, a powerful president will be functioning alongside a powerful prime minister. The outcome of this unusual combination of egos and power is anyone’s guess.
Throughout his presidency, Putin surrounded himself with weak prime ministers but now is in the position of being a prime minister. Perhaps, the two men will work in a cooperative relationship, but, if history offers any clues, there are bound to be disagreements.
Eight years ago, the departing Yeltsin left Putin a pen with which he used to sign laws. As Putin left the presidency, he took the pen. Was there anything symbolic about that action?