Interviewer: What would you call it?
President Ilves: Seven industrial democracies and one country brought in for reasons that have lost their relevance.
You'll get no argument from the Koslings, Putie. They know democracy when they see it.
Putin to be PM in future Russia government
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday he was ready to become prime minister if his close ally Dmitry Medvedev succeeds him, giving Putin a way to keep a grip on power after he leaves the Kremlin.
A 42-year-old lawyer with no political base of his own, Medvedev is virtually certain to win next March's presidential election since most Russians will vote for whoever the highly popular Putin endorses.
"If Russian citizens express their confidence in Dmitry Medvedev and elect him as the country's president, I will be ready to head the government," Putin told a congress of his United Russia party held near Moscow's Red Square.
"(We) shouldn't be ashamed or afraid of transferring the key powers of the country, the destiny of Russia to the hands of such a man," Putin added in his speech.
Medvedev, 42, was later adopted by the congress as United Russia's presidential candidate. Delegates voted 478-1 in a sober, Soviet-style ceremony held without debate.Is there any other way???
In his brief acceptance speech, Medvedev listed priorities such as strengthening Russia's position in the world, preserving the Russian nation, looking after the young and the old.And pleasing his master.
"All this is in Vladimir Putin's strategy. I will be guided by this strategy, if I am elected president," Medvedev said.
"But carrying out an idea can only be successful with the participation of its author. I have no doubt that in the future Vladimir Vladimirovich (Putin) will use all his resources, all his influence in Russia and abroad for the benefit of Russia."
Putin praised Medvedev as a man whose "main principles in life are the interests of its government and its citizens."
He also announced a big pay rise of 14 percent for public sector workers, which will come into effect on February 1, just over a month before the election. The military will get 18 percent.Of course, the pay increases have nothing to do with buying loyalty and votes for Putie's weak sister.
In a further sign of Putin's intention to keep a grip on power next year, Russian media reported that Putin could send the Kremlin chief of staff to run Medvedev's election campaign.Too busy shilling for the Palis, the administration's 'Russian expert' was unavailable for comment.
Read it all at Reuters
Also at A Tangled Web
UPDATE: Although speculation about Putie's future began last June, Vladimir Paranoid's announcement about becoming prime minister after Medvedev's 'elected' in March, experts were surprised.