Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday appointed new Russian cabinet members, according to the decrees Kremlin published on its website.
According to one of the decrees, the new government has reduced its former ten deputy prime ministers to nine. A former Kremlin aide Andrey Belousov became First Deputy Prime Minister.
Yury Borisov, Yury Trutnev and Tatyana Golikova remain the deputy prime ministers.
On January 16, Putin proposed shifting major powers from the presidency to the State Duma, the lower house of the country’s Parliament, including to choose the country’s Prime Minister and other ministers.
The resignation of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev — a longtime Putin ally came after the president used his annual state of the nation address to propose a package of constitutional reforms that would strengthen parliament’s role.
The positions of new deputy prime ministers were taken by Dmitry Grigorenko, who will also serve as Chief of Staff of the Government; former Deputy Mayor of Moscow for Urban Development and Construction Marat Khusnullin; former head of the Federal Service for State Registration Viktoria Abramchenko, former Gazprom Media board chair Dmitry Chernyshenko and former deputy head of Federal Tax Service Alexey Overchuk.
According to another decree, Sergei Lavrov has retained his post of the Russian foreign minister.
Accepting the resignation, Putin later appointed Mikhail Mishustin as the new Prime Minister. So far, 53-year-old Mishustin, the chief of the Federal Tax Service, is seen as a capable technocrat with almost no political ambitions.
Recent polls put Putin’s rating at 68-70 per cent, up a few points from a year ago but down from a high of more than 80 per cent at the time of his last election.
The state of the nation address — delivered in the Manezh exhibition hall next to the Kremlin — is one of three big annual Putin events, along with a marathon press conference and live phone-in where he takes questions from the Russian public.