Putin sees no need to hang successor’s portrait

MOSCOW – Vladimir Putin said on Thursday he saw no need to hang his successor’s portrait in his office once he steps down as Russia’s president.

It is accepted etiquette in Russia for all officials to hang up a portrait of the head of state.

But Putin’s protege Dmitry Medvedev is expected to win next month’s election while he stays on as a very influential prime minister.

“In order to establish my relationship with Dmitry Anatolyevich (Medvedev) I won’t need to hang his portrait on my wall if he is elected president,” Putin said.

“As for my relations with Dmitry Anatolyevich, you must agree that if I head the government, the situation will be somewhat unique because I myself was president for eight years and overall have worked well.”

Putin, 55, has endorsed 42-year-old First Deputy Prime Minister Medvedev as his successor. The younger man is overwhelming favorite to win a March 2 presidential election.

Putin is constitutionally barred from serving another consecutive term. He has said he is prepared to become prime minister under a Medvedev presidency.

Many analysts believe he will take the lead in shaping policy, even after he ceases to be president.

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