Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev (pictured left) and the totality of Russia’s national government has resigned as of Wednesday, according to CNN.
This unprecedented move by Medvedev and all of his fellow cabinet members came as a shock to Russian reporters who broke the story from Moscow on the nation’s state-owned television news station. Medvedev’s resignation announcement came following a proposal for government reforms that was just recently presented by Russian President Vladimir Putin (pictured right).
Putin’s proposed constitutional amendments were consistent with strengthening the powers of the Russian Prime Minister to the Office of the President’s dismay inside the Kremlin. Speculators outside Moscow have long since suspected that a pendulum swing of power away from Russia’s Office of the President and toward the Russian Parliament has been on the way.
Putin’s current presidential term is scheduled to end in 2024. His political scrutinizers believe that the petroleum business mogul and former KGB spy has been contemplating how to consolidate his power after 2024. Putin’s recent speech in which he proposed his revolutionary reforms lasted about 80 minutes, according to the Moscow Times.
“I don’t consider [the two consecutive term limit for Russia’s President] a matter of principle, but I agree with it,” Putin said.
Since the George W. Bush-era days in U.S. politics, Medvedev has been looked at as a longtime puppet of Putin’s on the outside with deep ambitions of obtaining his own unbridled political power on the inside. From 2008-2012, Medvedev was Russia’s president but Putin was his predecessor and successor.
“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, [for Russia’s government to step down],” Medvedev said in his official statement of resignation.
The financial markets in Russia did not respond well to the government’s resignation, which was orchestrated by its Prime Minister. Moscow’s rouble fell in value by nearly a percent, according to reports.
Putin has chosen Mikhail Mishustin, the director of Russia’s Federal Tax Service as Medvedev’s interim replacement.