Kremlin reportedly planning government reshuffle after Putin’s re-election

Kremlin reportedly planning  government reshuffle after Putin’s re-election
The last large-scale shake up of the Russian government last took place in 2020. / bne IntelliNews
By bne IntelliNews March 13, 2024

The Kremlin could make a major reshuffle of the government after the inevitable re-election of President Vladimir Putin in 2024, according to a report by Bloomberg citing unnamed officials. A large-scale shake up of the government last took place in 2020.

As covered by bne IntelliNews, as part of this reshuffle Boris Kovalchuk, the son of long-time ally and friend of Vladimir Putin Yuri Kovalchuk,  could leave his position at the state utility major InterRAO to head gas or oil majors Gazprom or Rosneft, or become deputy prime minister for the fuel and energy sector instead of Alexander Novak, or Kovalchuk could become the new minister of energy instead of 72-year-old Nikolai Shulginov. 

Agriculture Minister Nikolai Patrushev may be promoted to a position of deputy prime minister, while a more substantial position could be slated for the Presidential Envoy to the Far East Yuri Trutnev. Patrushev, 46, is the son of Putin’s powerful security council secretary Nikolai Patrushev.

“The Kremlin elite is feverishly jostling for position in Vladimir Putin’s new term as the president surrounds himself with loyalists to pursue his war in Ukraine,” according to Bloomberg.

However, no significant changes in domestic and foreign policy are expected, and there are no signs that any plans for a successor for Putin himself are on the horizon. 

Mikhail Mishustin is likely to remain prime minister, while Finance Minister Anton Siluanov and the head of the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) Elvira Nabiullina will retain their posts, according to Bloomberg’s sources.

Officials are waiting to learn what role the deputy prime minister and ex-energy minister Alexei Novak may play in the new government and whether Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who’ll be 74 this month, will continue in the post he’s held for 20 years, sources told Bloomberg.

As followed by bne IntelliNews, as the Russian financial system was shocked by the fall-out of Russia's full-scale military invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Putin reportedly had to personally step in to prevent CBR's Governor Nabiullina from resigning

Nabiullina was re-appointed for her third five-year term shortly after the invasion, maintained the key interest rate at emergency 20% and introduced strict capital controls, limitations of capital outflows and mandatory sales of 80% forex revenues for commodity exporters. This has soft-landed the ruble exchange rate and the key interest rate  has been cut to below invasion levels.

Nabiullina was named as the central bank governor of the year by Euromoney in 2015 and The Banker in 2017. In October 2022 she was sanctioned by the US along with other high-ranking Russian officials

Mishustin, a trusted technocrat that digitalised Russian tax system, has been the prime minister since 2020, when his government swiftly replaced that of long-time Putin proxy Dmitry Medvedev. Mishustin was seen as mandated to implement Putin's National Projects spending spree.

However, even prior to the full-scale military invasion of Ukraine, the launch of the National Projects was upset by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic turbulence and was partially rolled back