The radical movements came shortly after Putin delivered his annual address to the lower house of the Russian parliament and proposed constitutive changes to boost the powers of prime ministers and cabinet members.
"For my part, I also want to thank you for everything that was done at this stage of our joint work, I want to express my satisfaction for the results that have been achieved," the president said in a meeting with the cabinet of ministers.
"Not everything was done, but everything never works completely," Putin said.
Medvedev, a former ally of Putin, served as prime minister of Russia since 2012. He spent four years previously as president in 2008-2012.
Earlier, Putin proposed radical changes to the constitution on Wednesday, including the strengthening of parliament and the renewal of the country's state council, possibly hinting at his plans for after he left power in 2024.
In his annual address to lawmakers, Putin again suggested limiting the presidential term limits to two, indicating that 20 years after becoming president, he will not attempt to seek a third consecutive term.
But Putin's plan to grant constitutional status to the state council, an advisory body superior to the president he created in 2000, and transfer more power to parliament, including appointing the country's prime minister, could be a way for him to maintain an influence. significant in a different capacity after the end of this presidential term. As the Russian constitution is now, the president has the sole power to appoint the prime minister.
"It's about how to influence the prerogatives of the future president," said Tatiana Stanovaya, director of a group of experts called R. Politik and an academic at the Carnegie Center in Moscow. "Putin would like to have some influence, some mechanism to control and get involved in case his successor makes mistakes or has some disagreements with him."
After Putin served two presidential terms from 2000 to 2008, he changed places with his prime minister, Dmitry Medvedev, who served a term. Medvedev was widely seen as a caregiver, which allowed Putin to retain power behind the scenes, but it was also believed that there was a gap between the two in the middle of Medvedev's presidency. Putin assumed the presidency in 2012 and was re-elected last year.
Stanovaya believes it is unlikely that Putin wants to be prime minister again after his presidency, but a role in a reinforced state council could be attractive to him.
"He doesn't want to get involved in a routine social and economic policy, like the budget, it's boring for him," he said. “He wants to focus on foreign policy, and I think the state council is much more convenient for him. But for that, he will have to turn it into a constitutional body and significantly expand its possibilities. "
Putin concluded his speech, which lasted a little over an hour, saying that those changes must be approved in a national referendum, the first in Russia since 1993. But if that referendum will actually occur it is unclear. Ella Pamfilova, director of the Russian Central Election Commission, told the Russian news agency Interfax: "I don't think I will reach a referendum," and added that "there are other forms of debate."
Other constitutional changes included limiting the supremacy of international law, raising residency requirements for presidential candidates from 10 to 25 years, granting the Russian constitutional Court the right to verify whether the laws adopted comply with the constitution before being signed by the president , prohibiting public officials from having foreign citizenship and adding a provision to maintain the minimum wage and pension above the official poverty line.
"Our society is clearly demonstrating a demand for change," Putin said at the beginning of the speech.
The annual speech to the main Russian officials and members of parliament focused mainly on how to improve domestic living standards. Putin opened with initiatives to improve the demography of Russia by proposing financial incentives for citizens who have children and then addressed the low salaries of teachers, increasing their monthly salaries by approximately $ 80. He also referred to medical care and environmental problems.
Putin's approval ratings remain high, around 68 percent, according to a December Levada-Center survey, but has been gradually declining due to stagnant economic growth and unpopular movements in recent years to increase the retirement age and increase the added value. taxes.
The speech on the state of the nation on Wednesday was the first to be screened in several large buildings in Moscow. Putin also pointed out that the speech was unique as soon as it was delivered; Usually such speeches are given in February or March.
"We need to accelerate the achievement of the large-scale social, economic and technological challenges facing our country," he said.