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Report: ‘Russia’s Political Transition Has Arrived Ahead of Schedule’ ‘Russia’s Political Transition Has Arrived A...
MOSCOW—Russian President Vladimir Putin unexpectedly began the country’s political transition Wednesday with a constitutional shake-up and the naming of a new prime minister, paving the way for the 67-year-old leader to continue driving Russian politics even after he formally leaves the presidency in 2024.
In his annual State of the Nation address, Putin proposed changes to the constitution in a series of moves that appear to pave the way for the term-limited president to assume a new position of power after he leaves office. A few hours after Putin’s address, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev announced on live television that he and the entire Russian government would be resigning, saying that the Russian president will choose a new government.
Putin later nominated Mikhail Mishustin, a 53-year-old technocrat who heads the Federal Tax Service and is best known for boosting tax collections and cutting graft, as Medvedev’s successor. Mishustin is a low-profile choice not seen as a power player in Moscow, making his prospects of transitioning into a major political force unlikely.
“Russia’s political transition has arrived ahead of schedule,” said Tatiana Stanovaya, the founder of the political consultancy R.Politik and a scholar at the Carnegie Moscow Center. “Putin is trying to make his transition more comfortable for himself, and getting rid of Medvedev, who was toxic for both elites and the people, is necessary.”
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