Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has announced that the entire government is resigning in a surprise statement released shortly after President Vladimir Putin delivered his annual state-of-the-nation address.

Accepting the resignation, Putin thanked the ministers for their hard work and asked them to function as a caretaker government until a new one can be formed.

Medvedev explained that the cabinet is resigning in accordance with Article 117 of the Russian Constitution, which states that the government can offer its resignation to the president, who can either accept or reject it.

During his speech, Putin said he intended to create the position of deputy secretary of Russia’s Security Council, which would be offered to Medvedev. The move to the new role will mean Russia will have a new prime minister when a new government is formed.

Medvedev became prime minister in 2012, after serving four years as president. He currently heads the ruling United Russia party.

Under Putin’s plan, the State Duma – the lower house of parliament – will be granted the power to appoint the prime minister and the rest of the cabinet, as opposed to just approving their candidacies as is currently the case.

Another idea voiced by Putin is to make the consultation body, the State Council, a permanent fixture, with its status and role written into the constitution.

The president praised the council’s effectiveness, stressing that its working groups ensure the most important problems for the people are thoroughly looked into.

A possible departure for the outgoing cabinet was hinted at by the Russian president a year ago, when he promised personnel changes dependent on how well the top officials handled “national-priority projects.”

The move is bound to strike a chord with the majority of Russians, he said, describing it as “a very popular albeit somewhat belated” decision.

Voters, who overwhelmingly propelled Putin into the nation’s highest office for the fourth time last year have given the president a mandate to alter Russia’s political course, making it “more patriotic,” and the liberal-leaning government of Dmitry Medvedev simply did not fit.

Medvedev is “a clear-cut liberal” whose cabinet was hellbent on integrating Russia into global economic structures, such as the World Trade Organization, even though many of these bodies have become increasingly hostile to Russia in recent years due to Western mingling into Russian global development affairs.

Though thanking Medvedev and his team for their hard work, Putin also said that not everything has been accomplished yet, after the Soviet Union was dismantled and the country was totally derailed some time ago.

The nationwide programs are aimed at raising living standards and bettering the well being of Russians. They encompass many spheres, including the improvement of education, housing and healthcare services.

RT. com / ABC Flash Point Socialist News 2020.

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