Russia approves Mikhail Mishustin as new Prime Minister

16 January 2020, 12:35

Mikhail Mishustin has been approved as the new Russian PM
Mikhail Mishustin has been approved as the new Russian PM. Picture: PA

By Maddie Goodfellow

Russia has approved Mikhail Mishustin, the head of the Russian tax authority, to head up the Russian government.

President Vladimir Putin nominated Mr Mishustin for the position after Dmitry Medvedev resigned on Wednesday.

Russia's lawmakers approved him for the role less than 24 hours after the resignation.

Mr Mishustin has been head of the Russian tax authority since 2010, but this will be his first prominent political role.

He received 383 votes of 424 cast, with no votes against and 41 abstentions in a victory.

His victory had been all but assured when he won the unanimous backing of his party, United Russia, which has a strong majority in the chamber.

The appointment comes after a series of resignations from the Russian government on Wednesday.

President Vladimir Putin nominated him for the role.
President Vladimir Putin nominated him for the role. Picture: PA

Dmitry Medvedev submitted his resignation on Wednesday afternoon following President Putin's annual state of the nation speech.

Mr Putin thanked Mr Medvedev for his service but noted that the Prime Minister's government failed to complete all their objectives.

Reports suggest Mr Putin plans to name Mr Medvedev as deputy of the presidential security council.

During his speech, the Russian leader argued for changes to the constitution to increase the powers of prime minister and cabinet members.

President Putin asked Mr Medvedev and his cabinet to remain in their posts until a new government was selected.

Medvedev is a key ally of Mr Putin and has served as Russia’s prime minister since 2012, and four years before that as Russian President.

The proposed move is seen as part of Mr Putin's efforts to carve out a new position of power for himself to stay in control of affairs after his term as President ends in 2024.

Plans include giving more power to parliament - including selecting the Prime Minister - a power currently held by the President.

Mr Putin claimed in his speech that Russia is "clearly demonstrating a demand for change” - and later said he wished to put the constitutional changes to a referendum.

The Russian President has remained in his post for more than 20 years - longer than any other Russian or Soviet leader since Josef Stalin.