The Russian Parliament approves Putin’s election as prime minister

MOSCOW: Russian lawmakers approved the president

Vladimir Putin

candidate as prime minister, the next step in a strongly choreographed transition that could set the stage for Putin to retain power after his term ends.

Putin on Wednesday proposed radical changes in Russia’s constitution as a longtime allied prime minister

Dmitry Medvedev

He announced his resignation and that of his cabinet. The maneuver signals Mr. Putin’s desire to change Russia’s weak economy and consolidate his legacy before the law forces him to formally resign in 2024.

The lower house of the Russian parliament approved

Mikhail Mishustin,

the little known head of the Russian tax service who was nominated by Putin as the successor of Medvedev on Thursday. Mr. Putin’s selection underlines his preference for sharing authority with technocrats who represent little threat and have a limited power base of their own.

Despite the ambitions to boost the nation’s global influence, Putin has failed to improve the standard of living of Russians, whose real incomes have declined mainly since 2014. Russia’s economy has been slow in recent years, struck by Western sanctions and depends heavily on oil. Gas and gas revenues.

“The change of government yesterday, honestly speaking, gives hope that the new team will be able to do more, achieve more,” he said.

Alexei Kudrin,

the head of the country’s audit chamber and an open defender of liberal economic reforms, at an economic conference in Moscow.

The changes proposed by Mr. Putin, which will be put to a public vote later this year, would limit the power of a possible successor and boost the role of the State Council, which he already directs. As head of an empowered State Council, Putin could remain in control and guide the policy after his presidential term expires.

Mr. Mishustin is so little known in Russia that state television reporters have regularly recited his biography during the last day, praising him for taking strong action against the country’s considerable submerged economy and increasing tax revenues.

In one of his first appearances since his nomination, Mishustin told lawmakers in United Russia that the government has to work to eliminate business restrictions and help foster a climate in which medium-sized businesses can thrive, according to the agency Interfax news. He also repeated Putin’s popular promises to provide specific assistance to the poor.

“It has some qualities that should reassure companies and investors,” wrote Jason Bush, senior analyst at US consulting firm Eurasia, in a note to clients. “As head of the tax service since 2010, Mishustin has been effective in introducing technical reforms to tax collection that have significantly increased revenue.”

The appointment of Mr. Mishustin, who has a Ph.D. in economics and has carried out extensive reforms in the tax agency that he led, is partly a response to Russia’s economic stagnation, analysts said.

Heavy for more than five years of international sanctions, economic growth in Russia has been slow, and the International Monetary Fund estimated it at around 1% last year.

Ms. Mishustin has experience in the private sector, having led UFG Asset Management, an investment group based in Russia in which

German bank AG

He has a stake He directed UFG from 2008 until his appointment to lead the tax service in 2010.

“It seems like a technocratic option, which is smart given the economic situation,” said Abbas Gallyamov, a former speech writer for Putin and a political consultant based in Moscow.

Write to Thomas Grove at [email protected] and Georgi Kantchev at [email protected]

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