Putin Signals Continuity With PM Mishustin’s Reappointment

President Vladimir Putin has nominated acting Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin for reappointment, with Russian lawmakers widely expected to approve his candidacy later on Friday, an apparent signal of continuity as Moscow presses on with its full-scale war against Ukraine.

Mishustin, a low-profile technocrat who has steered Russia’s economy through a storm of Western sanctions and other wartime challenges, signed his resignation and dissolved his cabinet — as required by Russia’s Constitution — after Putin was sworn in for his fifth term on Tuesday. 

“President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin has submitted Mikhail Vladimirovich Mishustin’s candidacy for the post of prime minister to the State Duma,” lower-house State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin announced early Friday.

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

Mishustin arrived at the State Duma around noon on Friday for talks with members of the five parties represented in Russia’s parliament. Senior lawmakers and their parties indicated that they plan to support the acting prime minister’s reappointment.

However, Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov announced after a meeting with Mishustin that his faction — which holds 57 out of the 450 Duma seats — would abstain from the voting.

We do not believe the government has made the kind of progress in its work as we had hoped for,” an anonymous Communist Party member, who was present at Friday’s meeting, was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency.

Telegram channels that position themselves as Kremlin insiders shared a timetable of Mishustin’s meetings with the five parliamentary parties, where only 20 minutes was allocated to each sit-down. Normally, consultations and interviews with prime minister candidates would take days.

Speaker Volodin said State Duma lawmakers plan to question Mishustin on demographics, “technological sovereignty,” and increasing Russia’s defense capability.

Analysts consider Mishustin’s reappointment as all but guaranteed, with Putin signaling continuity and approval of his wartime government’s domestic policy achievements.

In a pre-recorded meeting that was aired on state television as the acting prime minister met with lawmakers, Putin told Mishustin that he hoped the head of government would “be able to convince the State Duma deputies about the nominees for your deputies and federal ministers.”

“I want to assure you there will be no pause in the work of the government. We’ll continue our current work,” Mishustin told the Russian leader.

Putin replaced former Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in 2020 with the little-known former tax chief Mishustin as part of a wider push to jumpstart Russia’s economy and change the Russian Constitution. The constitutional amendments passed later that summer will allow the longtime Kremlin chief to remain in power until 2036.

Before being appointed prime minister, Mishustin served as the head of the Federal Tax Service for nearly a decade. He was also a member of the Presidential Council for Financial Market Development between 2011 and 2018.

Once appointed, the new head of government is expected to propose a cabinet of ministers for Putin’s and lawmakers’ approval. State media reports indicate there are no major reshuffles planned.

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