Russian prime minister submits resignation to Putin

Cheryl Sanders
January 15, 2020

Medvedev will receive a new position within the Russian government as part of a reshuffling - vice chairman of the Security Council.

Mr Medvedev said the president's proposals would significantly change Russia's balance of power.

"This is to show that Putin trusts Medvedev, who has been at his side for many years now", said Aleksandra Godfroid, a journalist in Moscow.

In power as either president or prime minister since 1999, 67-year-old Putin is due to step down in 2024 when his fourth presidential term ends.

Russia's government resigned in a shock announcement on Wednesday after President Vladimir Putin proposed a series of constitutional reforms.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has proposed changes to the constitution that critics say clear the way for him to remain the country's leader-for-life.

Sergey Utkin, the head of strategic analysis at the Moscow-based Primakov Institute of World Economy and International Relations, said that it wasn't yet clear whether Mr. Putin meant to return to the Prime Minister's job again in 2024.

"These are very serious changes to the political system", said Putin in outlining the proposals.

"Russia must remain a strong presidential republic", Putin said.

Medvedev, a long-time Putin ally and former president, announced his resignation on state TV sitting next to Putin, who thanked him for his work.

Putin added in his speech that he wants to give the State Duma, the lower house of parliament, the power to choose Russia's prime minister and other key positions.

"I consider it necessary to conduct a vote by the country's citizens on an entire package of proposed amendments to the country's constitution", Putin said, without specifying any date for a vote. He also suggested strengthening the power of the State Council, which he now heads.

The former FSB chief took power in 2000 and since served as both president and prime minister.

According to Putin, Russia is creating the world's largest archive of war-related documents to present the "truth" to the world.

"We need to expedite achievement of the large-scale social, economic and technological challenges our country faces", he said. "I don't think this is a fundamental issue, but I agree with that", he said.

The body, she said, has the opportunity to bring under it various institutions at all levels, "from governors, to the presidential administration, to ministers to siloviki" - officials with ties to law enforcement.

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