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Smooth transition seen in Russia change

By Ren Qi in Moscow and Zhou Jin in Beijing | China Daily Global | Updated: 2020-01-17 10:34
Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with Mikhail Mishustin, the newly named prime minister, in Moscow on Wednesday. [RIA/XINHUA]

Government's resignation won't affect foreign or military policies, experts say

The unexpected resignation of the Russian government will not have a big impact on the country's military and foreign policies or its relations with other countries, experts said.

Dmitry Medvedev resigned as Russian prime minister hours after President Vladimir Putin put forward a proposal to amend Russia's Constitution in his annual state of the nation address to the Federal Assembly on Wednesday.

Russia's State Duma, the lower house of Parliament, approved Putin's nomination of Mikhail Mishustin as the new prime minister late on Thursday. Mishustin formerly was the chief of the Federal Taxation Service.

Earlier on Thursday, Russia's ruling party, United Russia, unanimously approved Mishustin's candidacy ahead of the formal parliamentary vote. The party has a majority in the Duma.

Alexey Zudin, a politics expert from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, said the resignation of Medvedev's government is not an extemporization, but a decision made with deliberateness.

Zudin said the timing is well chosen, and the administration needs to be changed in order to push the national projects Putin raised in his address.

Dmitry Badovsky, head of the Institute of Socio-Economic and Political Research, said the new government would focus more on the country's technological development and the solutions required for its economic problems.

It is clear that Medvedev's resignation is related to Putin's proposal for amendments to the Constitution, as well as to some problems Russia is facing, he said.

As Mishustin has abundant experience in economics, the new government is expected to bring greater efficiency to its work, said Badovsky, adding that policies could include those for economic stimulus.

'Internal matter'

China said on Thursday that its relationship with Russia would not be affected by the change in political processes under way.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said the government's resignation is an internal matter for Russia, and China completely respected that.

Noting that relations between the two neighbors have become mature, stable and resilient, Geng said China is confident about developing and deepening the Sino-Russian comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era.

Chen Yu, an expert in Russian studies at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, said the change of government won't bring any challenges to Sino-Russian relations because cooperation between the countries is comprehensive, with effective mechanisms and mutual needs being met in a range of fields.

"Moreover, the new prime minister is familiar with economic affairs, and may bring more new opportunities to the future China-Russia practical bilateral cooperation," he said.

Chen said the structure of the Russian political system held that powerful state ministries, such as the Foreign and Defense ministries, come under the direct management of the president. Therefore, the country's foreign policy and military development will not be affected by the government's resignation.

Andrei Bystritsky, chairman of the board of the Foundation for Development and Support of the Valdai Discussion Club, agrees with that view.

He said the resignation of Medvedev's whole government will not have a big impact on Russia's ties with other countries, since it is still the head of state that defines the country's foreign policy."It will not affect the country's foreign policy. Some slight changes are likely but they are not going to be significant."

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