The Russian parliament, the State Duma, will install later today former tax agency chief Mikhail Mishustin as the new prime minister, replacing Dmitry Medvedev who resigned in a surprise development yesterday. Russia’s ruling party, United Russia, has already approved the appointment.
Russia’s State Duma, the lower house of parliament, is expected to vote on Mishustin’s candidacy later on Thursday after he has addressed the chamber. United Russia, the ruling party, has a majority in the Duma, meaning Mishustin’s confirmation, barring an unexpected upset, is assured, reported The Moscow Times.
Mishustin, 53, ran the country’s tax service where he won praise for dramatically improving tax collection.
The constitutional reform proposals, which he set out on Wednesday and suggested should be put to a referendum, would give him the option of taking an enhanced role as prime minister after 2024 or a new role as head of the State Council, an official body he said he was keen to build up. Putin could even become speaker of a new, supercharged parliament.
“The most important thing is to remove barriers for business, reduce costs for business, in any case, talk significantly with business,” Mishustin said on Thursday at a meeting with deputies of the United Russia faction in the State Duma. “These are the most important issues that I will immediately consider from the first days,” Mishustin added, reported Russian state news agency TASS.
He called the situation stable in the Russian economy. “We have a fairly stable situation, because the Russian National Wealth Fund is decent, gold and currency reserves – this all stabilizes the situation quite well. We have inflation, I think it will not exceed 4%, this is obvious,” he continued.
“Of course, the first thing that needs to be done is to seriously engage in institutional, management reforms,” Mishustin said. “Of course, [we need] to bring in the latest information technologies. I will deal with programs, Digital Economy national project. Without a doubt, the state should be a digital platform that is created for people,” he said.