MOSCOW, Jan. 15 -- President Vladimir Putin urged the prime minister Dmitry Medvedev and the cabinet to remain at their posts until a new government could be formed.

Vladimir Putin also offered the outgoing chairman of the government, Dmitry Medvedev, the position of deputy head of the Security Council after the surprise resignation of the Russian prime minister on Wednesday. Medvedev has agreed to take up the role, in which he’ll oversee defense and security issues.

The Security Council is a consultative body which is chaired by the president himself. It consists of several ministers, representatives of the parliament, and law enforcement, and is tasked with assisting the head of state in working out the most important decisions on national security.

The prime minister announced his government’s resignation shortly after the president’s state of the nation address. The ministers will keep working until the new cabinet is formed.

Medvedev has been in charge of the government since 2012. The 54-year-old was also Russia’s third president (2008 to 2012) and occupied other important state positions.