Russia’s Putin proposes reappointing Mishustin as prime minister

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Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed reappointing Mikhail Mishustin as prime minister, the speaker of the lower house of parliament said on Friday, keeping Putin’s chief technocrat in charge of the government as Moscow presses its war in Ukraine.

The Duma’s approval of Mishustin is nearly certain, as there is virtually no opposition in parliament, which has supported Putin in all his decisions, including the February 2022 invasion of Russia’s smaller neighbour.

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As dictated by Russian law, the government resigned just before Putin, Russia’s paramount leader for nearly a quarter of a century, was sworn in for another six-year term on Tuesday after winning in a landslide re-election in March.

“President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin submitted to the State Duma a proposal on the candidacy of Mikhail Vladimirovich Mishustin for the post of Chairman of the Government,” the speaker of the Duma, Vyacheslav Volodin, said on the Telegram messaging app.

“Today, deputies will make a responsible decision on behalf of their constituents on this issue.”

Putin appointed Mishustin, 58, prime minister in January 2020, replacing Dmitry Medvedev. Along with other members of the Russian elite, he has been targeted by Western sanctions in connection with the war in Ukraine.

Mishustin is the chief technocrat in the ruling apparatus, with no background in the security services, so is not part of the so-called siloviki (strongmen) faction of intelligence veterans who are close to Putin. Before becoming prime minister, he headed the federal tax service, where he was credited with more than doubling revenues during his decade in charge.

Mishustin, who will speak in the Duma before the vote, must answer how he will solve a number of tasks set by Putin for the government, including “increasing the defence capability of our country”, Volodin said.

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