A day after President Vladimir V. Putin endorsed a loyal protégé, Dmitri A. Medvedev, as his successor, Mr. Medvedev went before the nation today and declared that he in turn would name Mr. Putin as his prime minister.
The announcement appeared to bring to a close questions about how Mr. Putin intends to wield influence over Russia after his term ends next year. Mr. Putin is barred by the Constitution from running for a third consecutive term, but he had indicated in recent months that he had no intention of giving up his power when he steps down in the spring.
Mr. Medvedev has no background in the state security services and virtually no power base in the Kremlin, and he is seen here as a relatively weak figure beholden to Mr. Putin. With Mr. Putin as prime minister, it would appear that little will change in who controls Russia.
This seems to be the method du jour for maintaining control.