Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on the structure and composition of the new cabinet of ministers on Tuesday. Who stays, who’s gone, and were there any surprise appointments? Sputnik brings you up to speed.
- Sergei Lavrov is staying on as foreign minister. First appointed to the post in 2004, Lavrov has been a mainstay of Russia’s foreign policy apparatus for over a decade and a half, and has presided over most of Moscow’s major foreign policy initiatives, from efforts to end the conflicts in Syria and Ukraine, to helping to regulate the Iranian nuclear issue and the North Korean crisis, to formulating Russia’s response to Western sanctions pressure.
- Sergei Shoigu will remain minister of defence. First appointed to the post by President Putin in late 2012, Shoigu, who previously served as minister of emergency situations, has coordinated the Russian military’s expanded operations, including the beefing up of Russia’s Arctic defences and taking charge of the country’s anti-terrorist operation in Syria. Shoigu’s tenure has seen the modernization of Russia’s military, and the introduction of all-new hypersonic weapons to reinforce Russia’s strategic deterrent amid the continued NATO buildup along Russia’s borders.
- On the economic front, Medvedev-era minister of energy Alexander Novak will be keeping his post, as will minister of industry and trade Denis Manturov. Significantly, Anton Siluanov, who has served as Russia’s minister of finance since 2011, will also retain his post in the new government. Described by the foreign press as a 'liberal technocrat', Siluanov has sought to continue the privatization of state industries and resources to raise revenues, and to continue Russia’s cooperation with global financial institutions including the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the World Trade Organization. Late last year, Siluanov suggested that there was a consensus among the G20 nations on the need to further reduce barriers to global trade.
- Members of the Medevedev government who didn’t get posts in Mishustin’s include minister of economic development Maksim Oreshkin, minister of culture Vladimir Medinsky (his post taken up by documentary filmmaker Olga Lyubimova, daughter of theatre critic Boris Lyubimov), education minister Olga Vasilyeva, and minister of labour and social affairs Maksim Topilin. Vitaly Mutko, who served as minister of sport between 2008 and 2016, lost his post as deputy prime minister responsible for housing and urban development. Former minister of health neurologist Veronika Skvortsova was replaced by Mikhail Murashko, who is also a medical doctor.