There have been months of intense speculation on whom Putin would support to run in the March 2 presidential elections — along with the wider question of what Putin himself will do once he steps down.
Putin's popularity and steely control has led most observers to expect that whomever he supports would be certain to win the elections.
Putin had long been seen as trying to choose between Medvedev, a business-friendly lawyer and board chairman of state natural gas giant Gazprom, and Sergei Ivanov, another first deputy premier who built up a stern and hawkish reputation while defense minister.
Although Putin is banned by the constitution from seeking a third consecutive term in office, he has indicated a strong desire to remain a significant power figure. He has raised the prospect of becoming prime minister, and his supporters have called for him to become a "national leader" with unspecified authority.
Putin made the statement in a meeting with representatives of the United Russia party — which is his power base and dominates parliament — and of three other parties. The parties told Putin they all supported Medvedev.
"I completely and fully support this proposal," Putin said, according to the ITAR-Tass news agency.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 11 Aralık 2007, 09:54