Voloshin Warns of Future Power Struggle

Alexander Voloshin, a former chief of staff to President Vladimir Putin, said the leader's plan to become prime minister after stepping down in May could lead to conflict with his chosen successor, Kommersant reported Tuesday.

Voloshin said that if Putin heads the government under Dmitry Medvedev, it could lead to "internal bureaucratic conflicts." He said power would be firmly in Medvedev's hands if he became president, the newspaper said.

Putin has to step down after eight years in power because of a constitutional limit of two consecutive terms.

Putin said last week that he planned to stay on as prime minister for as long as his protege is president, adding that in Russia "there's enough power to go around."

Voloshin, who is now chairman of Unified Energy System, quit as head of the presidential administration in October 2003 amid disagreement with Putin over the arrest of Yukos owner Mikhail Khodorkovsky.