Russian President Vladimir Putin has said goodbye to his successor Dmitry Medvedev in a televised televised message.
Medvedekov, whose term ends in December, had just been sworn in.
Putin said he would now focus on his domestic agenda, including his planned reform of the state pension system.
Russia has been rocked by the collapse of the ruble and plunging oil prices.
Putin’s decision to step down has been welcomed by Russia’s business community, which has long been under pressure from Western sanctions.
Putin, who has ruled Russia since 2000, said the nation must now focus only on the next five years, a key part of his plans to reform the economy.
“We have to put aside the current crisis, the economic situation of the country and the development of our people, and concentrate on building a new future for our people,” Putin said.
“I believe that we must start by changing the way we do business.
This is why I am announcing that I will leave office in December 2020.”
Medvedov, who was widely expected to be the next Russian president, was widely seen as a possible successor to Putin and was widely tipped to win a second term in 2020.