Putin sworn in for fourth term, proposes Medvedev for Russian PM

MOSCOW – Vladimir Putin took oath of office on Monday to start his fourth term as Russian president.

“It is my duty and the meaning of my entire life to do everything for Russia, its present and future, to ensure that it is peaceful and prosperous, to preserve and perpetuate our great people, and bring prosperity to every household in Russia,” Putin said at the inauguration ceremony in the Grand Kremlin Palace.

He said Russia needs to build a free society. “We need breakthroughs in all areas of life… Such progress can only be achieved by a free society that embraces everything new and advanced, and rejects injustice, stagnation, ignorant protectionism and bureaucratic deadness,” he said.

The president said Russia must focus its energy on working out a solution that raises its competitiveness in economic growth and technology development.

Putin won a landslide victory in the March 18 presidential election.

Some 6,000 people were invited to the inauguration ceremony, including members of the government, deputies and senators, judges of the Constitutional Court, heads of diplomatic missions and representatives of the clergy and youth organizations.

Putin proposed Dmitry Medvedev for the post of Russia’s prime minister and submitted the nomination to the State Duma, Russia’s lower house of the parliament, the Kremlin said.

“The president nominated Dmitry Medvedev to obtain the consent of the State Duma to be appointed chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation,” the Kremlin said in a statement.

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Earlier in the day, the previous government led by Medvedev resigned shortly after Putin took the oath of office to start his fourth term as Russian president.

The president later signed a decree ordering the government to continue working until the formation of a new one.

The State Duma is expected to decide whether to approve Medvedev’s nomination on Tuesday.