MOSCOW, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) -- Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Friday he would lead the government as long as he could, denying reported tensions between him and President Vladimir Putin over the designation of tax crime investigative power.
"I love what I'm doing now, this is an interesting job. I'm doing it for as long as I can, until there is a presidential decision to that effect," Medvedev said in an end-of-year interview with leading television channels.
Noting his job was "not very popular," the prime minister insisted that he had no contradictions with Putin, saying, "I and the president are getting along well."
Local reports earlier said relationship between the two top Russian leaders may have deteriorated as Putin backed the transformation of tax crime investigative power from the tax services to the Investigative Committee.
Medvedev endorsed in 2011, when he was the president, the procedure of opening criminal cases over tax crimes only by the initiative of tax services.
He argued against the legislative change last month, but Putin said later that "If someone does not agree with something, there is another way resign from the Cabinet."
Medvedev said a compromised version was being discussed, in which authorities could open tax evasion cases without the initiative of tax officers but will have to seek related materials from the Federal Tax Service.
Speaking of the possibility to once again run for the presidency, Medvedev said, "I would like to work more before I make necessary decisions that depend on a certain set of circumstances."
He went on to say that the government has proven to be quite effective and did not require any drastic changes.
"Our government is an absolutely functional team ... On the whole, I think that there should not be any radical changes," he said.
Commenting on the situation in Ukraine, Medvedev said that country's problems must be solved only by its leadership and society.
He denied that Russia had pressured Ukraine to suspend the signing of an association agreement with the European Union (EU).
"They (Ukrainian leaders) realized that at the moment, they're not ready for this," he said. "We just focused on the problems (of the deal), telling them what they might be."
Meanwhile, he urged other countries to "behave correctly" as that was Ukraine's internal affair.
The Ukrainian government made a sharp U-turn on Nov. 21, a week before the long-anticipated summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, to put the deal on hold and sought to restore ties with Russia, sparking mass protests in the capital city of Kiev and other major cities.
MOSCOW, Dec. 4 (Xinhua) -- Russia would strengthen cooperation with Ukraine in various areas as the two countries remained important strategic partners, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Wednesday.
"In order to continue cooperation and develop economic relations between Russia and Ukraine, we have agreed with the (Ukrainian) prime minister, and the presidents have been negotiating this as well, to advance our work in a number of sectors," Medvedev said. Full story
KIEV, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) -- Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov on Thursday announced his government's readiness to enter into negotiations with opposition leaders over massive protests here in recent two weeks.
"We are ready to create a negotiating group to normalize the situation in the capital," Azarov said in the framework of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) ministerial council. Full story