Russian prime minister and government resign

The Russian government effectively resigned Wednesday after Prime Minister Dimitry Medvedev submitted his resignation to President Vladimir Putin, according to multiple reports.

Medvedev said "the government in its current form has resigned" as a result of significant constitutional changes proposed by Putin on Wednesday, during his annual state-of-the-nation address, AFP reported.

Medvedev announced his resignation after Putin delivered his yearly address, according to RT.

Putin proposed a referendum Wednesday to amend Russia’s constitution to increase the powers of prime ministers and Cabinet members, affecting the country’s balance of power. The proposed move is seen as part of Putin’s efforts to carve out a new position of power for himself to stay at the helm after his current term as president ends in 2024.

"This will increase the role and significance of the country's parliament," Putin said, according to AFP.

In a meeting of ministers after the resignations, Putin thanked Medvedev's government, CNBC reported citing state news agency TASS.

“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 satisfaction with the results that have been achieved,” Putin said. “Not everything was done, but everything never works out in full."

The Russian president said Medvedev will next work as deputy head of Russia's Security Council, Reuters reported.

Putin asked the members of Medvedev’s Cabinet to keep working until a new Cabinet is formed.

Medvedev, a longtime close associate of Putin’s, has served as Russia’s prime minister since 2012. He spent four years before that as president in 2008-2012, becoming a placeholder when Putin had to switch into the prime minister’s office because of constitutional term limits on the presidency.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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