16 January 2020

The Russian Federation Government resigned. However, there is no internal political crisis in Moscow ahead

Cristian Eremia

On 15th January 2020, Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, addressed the annual traditional message towards the Federal Assembly of Russia, which usually is an analysis of the Russian state of the nation and the presidential political directions for the effective year in terms of social-economic, political and internal affairs developments, but also foreign affairs and security.

Image source: Mediafax

Immediately after this event, Russia’s government led by former Russian president Dmitri Medvedev, has submitted the resignation of the entire government to President Putin. According to Russian media, prime-minister Medvedev’s gesture was totally unexpected for the Russian nation and the international community.

However, given the “organized” methods the government forwarded its mandate and the way President Putin reacted it reveals, at least at a first and quick sight, that the entire scenario was planned before. Therefore, it is less likely for this resignation to actually produce an internal crisis in Moscow, as the situation is firmly in the hands of Kremlin’s leader.

Medvedev explained that “Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin outlined a number of fundamental changes to the constitution, significant changes not only to a number of articles of the constitution, but also to the balance of power as a whole. In this context, it's obvious that we, as the government ... should provide the president of our country with the opportunity to make all the decisions necessary for this. And in these conditions, I believe that it would be right, in accordance with Section 117 of the constitution”.

Vice prime-minister Vitaly Mutko has explained that government’s resignation is the result of president’s call, interpreted as a change of Russia’s internal policy. He stated that “...it is a big challenge, or a change request, we must come with new political approaches”.

Vladimir Putin thanked the members of government for the collaborations, “although, not everything worked out”, as it should have. The Russian leader also stated that, in the near future, he will meet each member of the former Cabinet, asking them to accomplish their duties completely until appointing a new one.

During this speech, Russia’s president confirmed that they must change some constitutional provisions as soon as possible, aiming at extending Parliament’s power and abilities, executive’s appointment and working methods and the ones related to electing state’s president. “I think that the necessity of a new referendum was decided. Any other thing is technical procedure”, said the Russian News Agency quoting president Putin, also adding that he made relevant political statements on resetting the entire leadership system in the Russian Federation.

It is noteworthy that Vladimir Putin already had in mind the position he would give the former prime-minister Medvedev, which is secretary deputy of Russia’s Security Council. This position is not really that Medvedev would “deserve”, given that he was also president of the Russian Federation.

Translated by Andreea Soare