Vladimir Putin Promises Reshuffle after Russia Election Protests
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin responded to an election setback and protests by promising on Tuesday to reshuffle the government as President Dmitry Medvedev warned the West against criticising Russia.
Under pressure after his party won only a slim majority in parliament on Sunday and the opposition staged its biggest protest in Moscow for years, Putin said the government had to do more to respect the people’s demands for modernisation.
“There will be a significant renewal of personnel in the government,” he told members of his United Russia party.
It was a first overt sign of concern in the upper echelons of power over the election, which loosened United Russia’s grip on the State Duma lower house and signalled growing weariness with Putin’s 12-year rule, economic problems and corruption.
But he promised no immediate changes – the reshuffle would be after a March 4 presidential election he is expected to win – and his spokesman Dmitry Peskov made clear police would prevent protesters staging rallies without official permission.
“Those who hold sanctioned demonstrations should not have their rights limited in any way – and that is what we are observing now,” Peskov said.
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SOURCE: The Telegraph