Russian Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin was dismissed after a public row with President Dmitry Medvedev. Kudrin said during his visit to the US that he would not serve in a new government next year if, as expected, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and President Dmitry Medvedev switch roles, because of disagreements with Medvedev on economic issues. In response, Medvedev gave him a sharp rebuke saying the comments were "improper... and can in no way be justified," and ordered him to resign if he continued to disagree over economic policy. Kudrin responded that he would make a decision on speaking with Prime Minister [Putin]. Hours later, Kudrin’s dismissal was announced. Kudrin was believed to be the leader of the liberal economic wing of Putin’s government. Analysts speculate that Kudrin might have hoped to become prime minister himself after December's parliamentary elections.