Prime Minister of Russia

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Prime Minister of the Russian Federation
Председатель Правительства Российской Федерации
Coat of Arms of the Russian Federation.svg
Dmitry Medvedev’s interview with CNN (2013-01-27).jpeg
Dmitry Medvedev

since 8 May 2012
Residence White House, Moscow
Appointer The President
Inaugural holder Sergei Witte
Formation 6 November 1905
Website (Russian)
Coat of Arms of the Russian Federation.svg
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The Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation (Russian: Председатель Правительства Российской Федерации, Romanized: Predsedatel' Pravitel'stva Rossiyskoy Federatsii), colloquially referred to as the Prime Minister (Russian: Премьер-министр, Romanized: Prem'yer-ministr) is the second most powerful official of the Russian Federation, who, under Article 24 of the Federal Constitutional Law On the Government of the Russian Federation, "heads the Government of the Russian Federation".[1] The Russian Prime Minister is considered the second highest position in the government, after the President.

Due to the central role of the President of Russia in the political system, the activities of the executive branch (including the Prime Minister) are significantly influenced by the head of state (for example, it is the President who appoints and dismisses the Prime Minister and other members of the Government; the President may chair the meetings of the cabinet and give obligatory orders to the Prime Minister and other members of the Government, the President may also revoke any act of the Government).

The use of the term "Prime Minister" is strictly informal and is never used by the Russian Constitution, Federal Laws and other laws.

Historical background[edit]

From 1905 to 1917, the Chairman of the Council of Ministers, referred to as the prime minister, was appointed by the Emperor; before this time, the Chairman of the Committee of Ministers had no separate power.

During the Russian Provisional Government in 1917, the official title of the prime minister was "Minister-Chairman".

In the era of the Soviet Union, the head of government was the Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars (until 1946) and the Chairman of the Council of Ministers (after 1946). People who held those positions are sometimes referred to as the prime ministers. They may have also been referred to as Premier of Ministers, or simply premier.

The current Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation is Dmitry Medvedev.[2]

Duties and competences[edit]

In general, the Prime Minister serves more of an administrative role, nominating members of the Cabinet and implementing domestic policy. In accordance with the federal constitutional law "On the Government of the Russian Federation" the Prime Minister exercises the following duties:

  • determines the operating priorities of the Government and organizes its work in accordance with the Constitution, federal constitutional laws, federal laws and Presidential decrees
  • submits to the President proposals on the structure and functions of the central institutions of the executive branch (e.g. ministries and federal agencies);[3]
  • nominates the vice prime ministers, federal ministers and other officers and presents them to the President;
  • submits to the President proposals on punishment and rewards of the Government members;
  • represents the Government as an institution in foreign relations and inside the country;
  • heads the sessions of the Government and its Presidium where he has the decisive vote;
  • signs the acts of the Government;
  • distributes duties among members of the Government;
  • systematically informs the President about the Government activities;

The Prime Minister is ex officio a member of:


The Chairman of the Government is appointed by the President of Russia, subject to the consent of the State Duma. Unlike most other "Prime Ministers", who are also elected members of the legislative body or parliament, the Chairman of the Government of Russia can be any Russian citizen, as long as they do not also hold citizenship of another country.

Under law, the President shall nominate a new Chairman of the Government within two weeks of the resignation of a previous government or inauguration ceremony of President. The State Duma is to discuss the matter within two weeks of the nomination and make a decision. Should the State Duma decide to give the President its approval, the President may immediately sign the respective appointment decree. Should the State Duma refuse to give its approval, the President will have to nominate another (or the same) candidate within one week of the rejection of the previous candidate.

Should the State Duma reject candidates nominated by the President for three times consecutively, the President shall dissolve it and call a new election, while the Prime Minister shall be appointed by the President without participation of the Duma. The State Duma may not be dissolved on these grounds during the last six months of the incumbent President's term, as well as in time of emergency, or war and in the event that the State Duma has initiated the impeachment of the incumbent President.

Other members of the Russian Government are appointed and dismissed by the President upon recommendation of the Chairman.

Removal from office[edit]

The Prime Minister may be dismissed by the President at any time at the President's own discretion. The Chairman may also tender his resignation to the President on his own initiative. The President may reject such resignation and oblige him to work further. The Prime Minister and the whole government are constitutionally obliged to resign after the inauguration of a newly elected President. The resignation of the Prime Minister automatically means the resignation of the whole government as a body.

Under certain circumstances, the President may also theoretically be forced to dismiss the Chairman and the whole government under pressure of the State Duma. For that to happen the State Duma has to pass a censure motion against the Government twice within three months. Normally, in this case the President has the right to choose whether to sack the government or to dissolve the Duma (and if the Duma passes the censure motion just once, the President may also choose "not to agree" with the decision of the Duma, which technically means that neither the cabinet nor the Duma are dismissed).

However, within one year from parliamentary elections the dissolution of the Duma is impossible on these grounds. That is why in this case the President does not have any other option but to dismiss the Government (even if he totally supports it). However, the President is theoretically free to appoint the very same person as an acting head of the cabinet for an indefinite period of time should finding a compromise with the parliament turn out to be impossible.

Succession of the presidency[edit]

In case of the President's death, resignation or impeachment, the Prime Minister becomes a temporary president until new presidential elections which must take place within three months. The Prime Minister acting as president may not dissolve the State Duma, announce a referendum or propose amendments to the Constitution.

The Chairman of the Federation Council is the third important position after the President and the Prime Minister. In the case of incapacity of the President and Prime Minister, the chairman of the upper house of parliament becomes acting head of state.[4][5]

List of heads of government[edit]

List of post-Soviet Prime Ministers of Russia.

Portrait Name Term of office Party President
Борис Николаевич Ельцин.jpg Boris Yeltsin December 25, 1991 June 15, 1992 Independent Boris Yeltsin
Gaidar in 2008 - crop.jpg Yegor Gaidar
June 15, 1992 December 14, 1992 Independent
1 1 Viktor Chernomyrdin-1.jpg Viktor Chernomyrdin December 14, 1992 March 23, 1998 Our Home – Russia
2 Sergey Kiriyenko December 2011-1.jpeg Sergey Kirienko March 23, 1998 August 23, 1998 Independent
Viktor Chernomyrdin-1.jpg Viktor Chernomyrdin
August 23, 1998 September 11, 1998 Our Home – Russia
3 E Primakov 03.jpg Yevgeny Primakov September 11, 1998 May 12, 1999 Fatherland – All Russia
4 Krievijas Revīzijas palātas priekšsēdētājs (4187361112).jpg Sergei Stepashin May 12, 1999 August 9, 1999 Independent
5 1 Vladimir Putin-5 edit.jpg Vladimir Putin August 9, 1999 May 7, 2000 Unity
Vladimir Putin
6 Mikhail Kasyanov par Claude Truong-Ngoc mars 2015.jpg Mikhail Kasyanov May 7, 2000 February 24, 2004 Independent
Viсtor Khristenko.jpg Viktor Khristenko
February 24, 2004 March 5, 2004 Independent
7 1 Mikhail Fradkov (Brasília, 04 April 2006).jpeg Mikhail Fradkov March 5, 2004 September 14, 2007 Independent
8 Viktor Zoebkov.jpg Viktor Zubkov September 14, 2007 May 7, 2008 United Russia
9 2 Putin with flag of Russia.jpg Vladimir Putin May 7, 2008 May 7, 2012 United Russia Dmitry Medvedev
Viktor Zoebkov.jpg Viktor Zubkov
May 7, 2012 May 8, 2012 United Russia Vladimir Putin
10 Dmitry Medvedev official large photo -5.jpg Dmitry Medvedev May 8, 2012 Incumbent United Russia

Results of voting on the appointment of the Prime Minister[edit]

Candidate Date Total deputies "Behind" "Against" Abstaining No vote Result
Yegor Gaidar December 9, 1992 1040 467 44.9% 486 26 61 Not approved
Viktor Chernomyrdin December 14, 1992 1040 721 69.3% 172 48 1 Approved
August 10, 1996 443 314 70.9% 85 3 48 Approved[6]
Sergey Kirienko April 10, 1998 443 143 32.3% 186 5 116 Not approved[7]
April 17, 1998 443 115 25.9% 271 11 153 Not approved[8]
April 24, 1998 443 251 56.7% 25 39 135 Approved[9]
Viktor Chernomyrdin August 31, 1998 443 94 21.2% 253 0 98 Not approved
September 7, 1998 443 138 31.2% 273 1 32 Not approved
Yevgeny Primakov September 11, 1998 443 317 71.6% 63 15 49 Approved
Sergei Stepashin May 19, 1999 443 301 67.9% 55 14 70 Approved
Vladimir Putin August 16, 1999 443 233 52.6% 84 17 105 Approved
Mikhail Kasyanov May 17, 2000 447 325 72.7% 55 15 52 Approved
Mikhail Fradkov March 5, 2004 445 352 79.1% 58 24 13 Approved
May 12, 2004 445 356 80% 72 8 11 Approved
Viktor Zubkov September 14, 2007 445 381 85.6% 47 8 9 Approved
Vladimir Putin May 8, 2008 450 392 87.1% 56 0 0 Approved
Dmitry Medvedev May 8, 2012 450 299 66.4% 144 0 0 Approved

See also[edit]


External links[edit]