The U.S. news magazine Time has named Russian President Vladimir Putin its 2007 "Person of the Year."

The magazine says Mr. Putin received the honor for his extraordinary feat of leadership in imposing stability in a country that was in chaos and bringing it stability.

Time's managing editor, Richard Stengel, says the Russian leader is the new "czar" of Russia. He added that stability in Russia is of more importance to Mr. Putin than civil liberties and freedom of speech. But he says stability is what Russia needed and that is why Putin has the support of his people.

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino described Putin as a very intriguing figure in modern history.

Mr. Putin's honor comes just days after he announced that if his close ally, Dmitry Medvedev, win's next year's presidential vote he would serve as his prime minister.

This year's runner-ups included Nobel Prize winner Al Gore, author J.K. Rowling and Chinese President Hu Jintao.

Time began naming its person of the year in 1927.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.