Russia

Surprise change of government in Moscow leaves rubles cold

In his annual State of the Union address yesterday, Russian President Putin announced a series of constitutional changes that would give both parliament and government more powers, but would curtail the power of the president. Mr Putin wants the people to vote in a referendum on the overall package of planned changes. Immediately after this unexpected announcement, the Russian government, led by Prime Minister Medvedev, resigned as one. The latter said he wanted to give the president room for the planned amendment of the constitution with this step. The new head of government is to be the head of the tax authorities, Mikhail Mishustin, while Medvedev is to become deputy chairman of the National Security Council. It is not unlikely that with the planned constitutional amendment Putin is working on his retention of political power for the period after 2024. Thus, his second and thus last possible term as president…

Fourth period of office for Vladimir Putin – is Russia’s economy now set for recovery?

The Russian electorate has voted President Vladimir Putin into a fourth period of office in the Kremlin. A preliminary count shows that Putin received more than 75 percent of the votes. Given the absence of any serious opposition in past months, there was never any doubt that he would be re-elected. Putin’s harshest rival, Alexei Navalny, who has taken up the struggle against corruption and office haggling in the state system, was excluded from the candidate list weeks before the election and had therefore called for an election boycott. Pawel Grudinin, who entered the race for the Communist Party, managed to pan only slightly less than 12 percent of the votes, despite being the best rival candidate. Putin’s main concern was therefore the election turnout. His declared aim was to receive at least 70 percent of the valid votes at an election turnout also of at least 70 percent. Achieving…