'I'm not afraid to criticise Putin', says Medvedev

13:39, 02 February 2009
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"When I meet the government, I point out their faults..."

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev pledged to hold the government to task despite friendly ties with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, in an interview with Bulgarian television on Friday.

"I have very good ties with the prime minister. We are old colleagues. I worked under Putin when he was president, now we work together with me as president and him as premier I appointed, so we are good comrades," the Kremlin`s website quoted Mr Medvedev as saying.

"But this does not mean that a president must close his eyes to existing problems. So when I meet the government, I point out their faults, it is absolutely normal," he added.

"This is a normal process, based not on someone`s ambitions, but on (the) real interests of our country. This is what I come from, so does the prime minister, so there are no problems there," he said.

Some analysts believe Mr Putin continues to pull the strings even as premier and that Mr Medvedev will soon stand aside to allow him to return to the Kremlin.

The Daily Telegraph

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