First Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has visited Russia's westernmost Baltic region of Kaliningrad. It was the first working trip of the year for Medvedev, who overlooks the government's programmes in social care, health, education, housing and agriculture. His work on these national priority projects may earn the presidential candidate extra points in the upcoming race.
During his visit Medvedev put special emphasis on examining Russian military accommodation in the region.
With five participants in the race so far, Medvedev is at the centre of attention as a presidential candidate but also as the president's hopeful.
The 42-year-old quickly climbed the political stairs. He made it to Putin's chief of staff before becoming Deputy Prime Minister.
His key responsibilities in the government are social reforms, health, education, agriculture and housing. It gives him a strong platform to build on the presidential campaign.
The focus of his work is likely to remain the focus of his campaign.
His visit to Kaliningrad - Russia's exclave between Poland and Lithuania - started at a rape seed production factory.
"The development of agriculture is one of our most important tasks. It provides us with the instruments to control food prices within the country," Dmitry Medvedev said.
He's quickly picking up the president's trend: inspecting factories, taking note of regional authorities' complaints.
Medvedev's job certainly earns him credit; programs he's running are aimed at tackling the most burning issues for Russians.
In Kaliningrad he checked on the progress of one of them - housing for the military.
Although Medvedev's position hasn't changed, this year his future has gained a new perspective, and 2008 may see him rise to the peak of the political ladder. ( RT )