Debate about Putin’s changes to Russia’s constitution

The nomination of Mikhail Mishustin, a former Head of the Federal Tax Service of Russia, may also indicate that his two main tasks will be addressing the social and economic issues while taking an essential role in the whole process of integration of Belarus into Russia.

Russia

Just after Vladimir Putin’s address to the Federal Assembly outlining future amendments to the Constitution, among other things, the Government of Russia and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev have resigned. Our expert, Denys Kolesnyk, has been invited to participate in the debate at France 24 TV channel on the resignation of the Government in Russia and the possibility of political transformation in this country.

Denys Kolesnyk noted that it would be logical to think that President Vladimir Putin of Russia prefers to keep different options in front of him for remaining in power. However, it is difficult to imagine the Russian population as well as the institutions to accept the previous scenario when in 2008 Putin and Medvedev switched the positions for four years.

Mr. Kolesnyk has also noted, that despite the general idea of an “all-powerful” Putin, the institutions have emerged in Russia with a few centers of power, whether we like it or not. Worth noting though, that those institutions cannot be compared with the Western ones.

Mr Kolesnyk has also noted, that despite the general idea of an “all-powerful” Putin, the institutions have emerged in Russia with a few centres of power, whether we like it or not. Worth noting, though, that those institutions cannot be compared with the Western ones.

A more plausible option could be to follow the Kazakhstan scenario. In other words to become some leader of the nation, or a “strategic overseer” following the example of Nursultan Nazarbayev who de jure stepped down and promoted Kassym-Jomart Tokayev as a President, but retained the majority of strategic powers as a “leader of the nation”.

“Most importantly, there is a need for changes in Russia driven by many different internal and external factors, such as the need for the redistribution of the wealth within the Russian society, the need for the general system renewal, as well as the necessity to end the de facto isolation of Russia, to name a few”. Therefore, we should not be completely ruling out Russia without Putin after 2024.

Regarding the new Government, Denys Kolesnyk noted that there are indicators that the Minister of Defence and Foreign Affairs will most likely remain. At this point, we may also assume that Vladimir Putin would like to focus mostly on strategic issues. The nomination of Mikhail Mishustin, a former Head of the Federal Tax Service of Russia, may also indicate that his two main tasks will be addressing the social and economic issues while taking an essential role in the whole process of integration of Belarus into Russia.

Gagra Institute expert has mentioned the importance of the geopolitical victories for the Russian population, as it has been seen during the illegal annexation of Crimea that sparked the peak of Putin’s popularity. But on the other hand, the geopolitical victories do not provide the necessary effect anymore. They are not judged to be a valid explanation of the economic hardships related to the foreign policy agenda.

It was noted as well, that it is important to understand that we should not be very optimistic if there will be Russia without Putin in 2024, since with or without him the Russian foreign policy, most likely, will not see significant changes.

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