Russia: Putin reveals details behind government shake-up

Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed details behind the January reorganisation of the Russian government, in an interview with journalist Andrei Vandenko released by TASS news agency on Thursday. The president said that the cabinet led by then Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev achieved a lot but that he “felt some inner certainty that here is where new people should come in to pursue work in... Еще new areas of crucial importance; people with modern training and commitment to achieving the overarching goal on key development elements.” He also ruled out that the reshuffle has created an impression of hastiness, saying that everything had been planned beforehand and that he had also informed PM Medvedev of his plans. “Everything should be discussed and thought through in advance, in a calm and business-like manner, each step should be prepared, and then the decision should be taken and implemented. We cannot afford to muddle along here. Russia is not Belgium that can stay a whole year without any government,” said the president. During the interview Putin also confirmed that former Federal Tax Service chief Mikhail Mishustin was his personal pick for the prime minister’s post. “[Mishustin is a] Man of practice, who understands very well what needs to be done and who knows how to do it; and he is doing it and achieves concrete results,” stated Putin. The previous Russian government led by Medvedev resigned on January 15 after Putin proposed major constitutional changes during his state of the nation address. The State Duma appointed Mishustin as the new head of govenrment the following day. Many ministers from Medvedev's cabinet kept their posts in the new govenrment, including Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and Energy Minister Alexander Novak. Mandatory courtesy to TASS

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