'I consider it of utmost importance for our country to keep Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin in the highest post of executive power, the post of head of government of the Russian Federation,' Medvedev said in an address to the nation on Vesti 24 news channel.
'It was he who led the list of the biggest party, United Russia, which secured a remarkable victory in elections to the State Duma,' Russia's lower house of parliament, Medvedev said. 'And only in this format can the new legislative executive power work effectively.'
In a surprise move Monday, Putin publicly endorsed the candidacy of Medvedev, a soft-spoken technocrat and chairman of gas giant Gazprom, instantly transforming him into frontrunner in the presidential election.
No other candidates are seen as having a chance of winning the March 2008 polls.
Putin has often said he wants to retain an important role in Russia's political system, possibly the prime minister's post, when the constitution obliges him to stand down in May at the end of his second presidential term.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 11 Aralık 2007, 14:58