The entire Russian government has resigned just hours after President Vladimir Putin proposed sweeping changes to the country’s constitution, according to reports. The TASS news agency, which is owned by the Russian government, reported Wednesday morning that Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and his ministers submitted their resignations to Putin. The agency said Putin thanked Medvedev for his work and said the outgoing prime minister would be installed as deputy of the presidential security council. Medvedev said he resigned to give Putin space to carry out the changes he wants to make to the constitution. Less than three hours after his resignation, Putin offered the post of prime minister to 53-year-old Mikhail Mishustin, who has held several roles relating to foreign policy, taxes, duty, and real estate. Mishustin reportedly accepted Putin’s proposal and the Federal Assembly of Russia is expected to consider his candidacy on Jan. 16. He has been the head of the federal tax service since 2010, according to the agency’s website.
Earlier, Putin proposed changes that would limit the power of his successor if he steps down in 2024. That has been interpreted as a hint that Putin intends to take on a strengthened role as Russia’s prime minister or in the government’s state council. Under the current constitution, Putin should step down as president in 2024 after serving two terms back-to-back.