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Putin to form new government – VOR

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Konstantin Garibov, Grigory Shabanov 
On Thursday, Russia’s recently elected President Vladimir Putin started consultations on the formation of a new government.

On the same day, Mr. Putin met with Russia’s incumbent President Dmitry Medvedev in Mr. Medvedev’s residence in the resort city of Sochi.

One day ago, the Russian Central Electoral Committee summed up the results of the elections which took place on March 4. Mr. Putin won 63.6% of the votes.

Mr. Medvedev congratulated Mr. Putin with a convincing victory and said:

“The election’s results showed that most Russians trust the policy which Mr. Putin, who was the prime minister during my presidency, and I have been holding. One of the main tasks which we and Russia’s other top officials were and are trying to solve is to modernize the country’s economy, to make it less dependant on exporting raw materials. Other important tasks were to increase Russia’s defensive power – and, of course, to maintain friendly relations with other countries.”

Vladimir Putin thanked Mr. Medvedev for congratulating him. He said that he was going to cooperate with Mr. Medvedev further, for Mr. Medvedev’s views on Russia’s tasks in home and foreign policy correspond very much with his own.

“At present, the Russian economy is developing in a good tempo, despite the global economic crisis,” Vladimir Putin said, “and our task is not to weaken this tempo. You and I,” he addressed President Medvedev, “have already outlined the main tasks of Russia’s social policy, but to implement this program, Russia needs a rapidly developing economy. Yesterday, we held consultations about concrete steps to implement this program. Today, we are starting consultations about the composition of the new government.”

On Wednesday, Mr. Putin told Mr. Medvedev that he would inform him about changes in the government within three days.

The head of the Institute of National Strategy Nikita Krichevsky is trying to explain why Mr. Putin is so hurrying to hold these consultations:

“I won’t call this hurry unnecessary haste,” he says. “Mr. Putin’s inauguration as president is planned for May 7. According to a tradition, the new president must present the new cabinet to the parliament for approving or disapproving right after his inauguration. It was so when Dmitry Medvdedev became president 4 years ago, and this tradition will most likely be observed now as well.”

However, formalities may slow down the government’s work. The old government will still remain in force till May 7, and it would take the new government some time to start working to the full extent of its power. So, it was only logical for Mr. Putin and Mr. Medvedev to start preparations for the work of the new government right now, in order not to hamper the new government’s work.