Russia's government resigned before changes of Constitution to be made

Russia's government has resigned. It occurred after President Vladimir Putin proposed sweeping constitutional changes that could prolong his stay in power.

Mr Putin presented his plans in his annual state of the nation address to lawmakers. The Russian leader said he wants shift power from the presidency to parliament. There will be also some other changes: limiting the supremacy of international law, amending the rules that limit presidents to two consecutive terms, changing laws that prohibit presidential candidates who have held foreign citizenship or foreign residency permits. "Of course, these are very serious changes to the political system," Putin said. Later, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev announced that the government was resigning to help facilitate the changes. Even ministers did not know about the government's resignation ahead of the announcement.

Putin and Medvedev

President Putin asked Mr Medvedev to become deputy head of the National Security Council, which is now chaired by Mr Putin. The president later nominated tax service chief Mikhail Mishustin to replace Mr Medvedev as prime minister. Despite the proposed changes, Putin said Russia should remain a strong presidential republic. Putin is due to complete his fourth presidential term in 2024. There were opposition reactions: „Remaining a life-long only leader, taking ownership of the entire country, appropriating its wealth for himself and his friends - that is the only goal of Putin and his regime," Alexei Navalny said.