Medvedev plans drastic government overhaul
Russia’s next government will be presented within the nearest days. Ministries will be split and several ministers will be changed.
Ex-President Dmitri Medvedev was confirmed as new Prime Minister on Tuesday by a majority of votes in the State Duma, 299 votes in favor and 144 against. It was the two parties A Just Russia and the Communists that voted against Medvedev.
The swap of offices between Medvedev and Putin was officially announced at the congress of the United Russia party in Moscow last September. In a comprehensive analytical report about the swap, Vedomosti reports that the final decision that Medvedev would give up the post as President, come when he and Putin were on fishing trip in August 2011. Sources close to the President says to Vedomosti that Medvedev later has regretted that decision. The Kremlin did not expect the wave of protests that followed the swap, the State Duma election in December and the Presidential election in March. An un-named Kremlin official says: “… we did not realize at that moment how many people that are critical to Putin…”
Now, Medvedev will greatly revamp the government structures by introducing smaller ministries. Russia Today reports that the Ministry of Industry and Trade will be split into the Civilian Industry Ministry and the Defense Industry Ministry. By that, the hope is to put the defense industry under special control.
At his first day in office, President Vladimir Putin on Monday ordered the government to make strong focus on strengthening Russia’s military forces, including the Navy’s presence in the Arctic.
The Ministry of Regional Development will be divided into the Ministry of Construction and the Ministry for Ethnic Affairs. Other ministries will be split as well.
Russia Today reports that current Deputy Prime Ministers Vyacheslav Surkov, Dmitry Rogozin, Dmitry Kozak and Aleksandr Khloponin will remain in the government, while current Minister for Economic Elvira Nabiullina will become Deputy Prime Minister as well, with special responsibility to overlook the social sector.
According to the speculations, current First Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov will step down.