Russia's ruling duo 'at odds' over bomb attack case
Russia's ruling duo was hit by rare discord Thursday when President Dmitry Medvedev rebuked officials for claiming the Moscow airport bombing was solved, hours after Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said the case had been nearly closed.
Speaking to the head of the FSB federal security service Alexander Bortnikov, Medvedev said no-one has "a right to make an announcement about the solution of this crime."
Any such announcement would be premature before the case makes it to court and the verdict is delivered, he said.
"This crime has not been solved so far but there is movement forward," he added.
Russia is on the hunt for the masterminds of the latest suicide bombing that killed 36 people and wounded more than 150 at its biggest airport Domodedovo last month.
Security officials earlier said that the attack had been carried out by a 20-year-old native from the North Caucasus.
Putin, Medvedev's mentor and seen as his senior partner in the ruling tandem, said late Wednesday that the bombing attack case was nearly closed.
Asked at a meeting with senior television executives whether officials had any clues that could help them find the criminals behind the bombing, Putin said:
"Not clues. You can say that the case has on the whole been solved."
It was not clear Thursday whether Medvedev was aware of Putin's remarks.
Russia is heading into presidential elections in 2012 and the two men have said they would agree who would run in order to avoid competing with each other.
After the maximum allowed two consecutive presidential terms Putin stepped down in 2008, anointing his protege Medvedev as successor.
The president and prime minister are eager to present a united front and have repeatedly denied speculation of cracks in their ruling tandem.
© 2011 AFP