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Russia: Putin picks Mishustin to stay on as prime minister

May 10, 2024

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said he would like Mikhail Mishustin to be reappointed as prime minister. Mishustin has been credited with keeping the Russian economy afloat amid Western sanctions.

Mikhail Mishusting striding past seated Duma deputies
Mishustin was widely expected to be reappointed as prime ministerImage: Dmitry Astakhov/Sputnik/AFP/Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday proposed the reappointment of Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, the parliamentary speaker has said, with a vote due the same day in the Duma on the choice.

"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," Volodin said.

Approval of the appointment is nearly certain, as there are almost no members of the parliament who would go against the president's wishes.

The announcement comes following the legally mandatory resignation of the government ahead of a new presidential term.

However, there are no indications that Putin plans any large-scale reshuffle of his government, with observers saying he is likely to want to create a feeling of stability in a country that is under pressure amid its invasion of Ukraine.

Who is Mikhail Mishustin?

Before first becoming prime minister in 2020, Mishustin, 58, headed the federal tax service, reportedly doubling tax revenues in his decade in the post.

Unlike many in Putin's team — and Putin himself — he has not emerged from the country's security services, instead pursuing a career in bureaucracy. 

Analysts say he is appreciated by the president largely because of his low-profile approach to his position, having, for example, shied away from making political statements or giving interviews during his previous tenure.

However, Mishustin is believed to have played a key role in maintaining Russia's economy amid an unprecedented onslaught of Western sanctions imposed after Moscow launched its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

Volodin said that Mishustin will have to give a speech in the Duma ahead of Friday's vote detailing how he intends to carry out several tasks Putin has set the government, including  "economic and regional development, and increasing the defense capability of our country."

tj/rc (Reuters, AP)