Putin announces Mikhail Mishustin as new Russian prime minister after predecessor and government resign

  • Video report by ITV News Correspondent John Ray

President Vladimir Putin has named tax service chief Mikhail Mishustin as Russia’s new prime minister, just hours after the previous government resigned.

The unusual resignation of the entire government was done to allow Putin to enforce constitutional changes, it is reported, which would see future presidents restricted to two terms in office.

Putin himself is currently serving his fourth term, which ends in 2024.

Mr Mishustin, who is 53-years-old, has worked in the government since 1998 and has kept low profile while serving as the head of the Federal Tax Service since 2010.

Mr Putin’s choice of Mr Mishustin, who lacks any political weight, indicates that he will not play an independent role.

Dmitry Medvedev (R) has submitted his resignation to President Vladimir Putin. Credit: AP

The resignations comes after a speech by Putin, in which he proposed amending the constitution to increase the powers of prime ministers and Cabinet members.

The move is seen as part of Putin's efforts to carve out a new position of power for himself - possibly as the next prime minster - to stay at Russia's helm after his current term as president ends.

"I know that in our society there are thoughts about the stipulation that one person can't stay on as President for more than two terms in a row.

"I don't think it's an important manner, but I do agree with this stipulation," Putin said in his annual state of the nation address.

Medvedev's resignation followed Putin's annual state of the nation address earlier on Wednesday. Credit: AP

Russian news agencies said Mr Putin thanked Mr Medvedev for his service but noted that the prime minister's Cabinet failed to fulfil all the objectives set for it.

Mr Putin plans to name Mr Medvedev as deputy of the presidential security council, reports said.

Mr Medvedev, a long-time close associate of Mr Putin's, has served as Russia's prime minister since 2012.

He spent four years before that as president in 2008-2012.

Mr Putin asked the member's of Mr Medvedev's Cabinet to keep working until a new cabinet is fully formed.