The new presidential term of Vladimir Putin, who will take office as head of state on May 7 for the fourth time, will be “unpredictable and complex”, say political scientists and parliamentarians. Lawmakers say that at 65, the president is in excellent physical shape and can perfectly handle the situations.
The solution of ambitious tasks
According to the State Duma deputies, the complexity of the new term is determined by the tasks that the president set before the country in his message to the Federal Assembly. Then, the president singled out the improvement of the living conditions of Russians, the increase in the amount of pensions and their indexation, targeted social assistance to the needy, the development of pre-school education institutions in the Russian Federation and other areas of social policy as priorities. One of the key tasks for the coming decade, Putin called ensuring the growth of real incomes of citizens and reducing poverty levels in six years at least two fold.
In many respects, the first deputy head of the United Russia faction, Andrei Isayev, agrees with him, pointing to the seriousness of the president’s intentions aimed at ensuring the country’s breakthrough development. First and foremost, according to the politician, is the question of doubling the financing of health care, extending the average life expectancy to 80 years, ensuring sustainable growth in incomes and purchasing power, and increasing pensions to a level higher than inflation. “We are talking about serious measures aimed at ensuring Russia’s breakthrough development, the development of information technologies, transport infrastructure, the use of the geographical position of our country in this sense (East and West orientated), the diversification of the defense industry complex,” Isaev added.
Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov, in turn, points to possible shocks that may occur if these vital issues are ignored. “Putin offers the country a real internal development program, strengthening economics, finance, industry – if these spheres are not addressed we are in for the worst shocks,” Zyuganov said.
He noted that foreign policy is equally important. Russia clearly stated its geopolitical interests and found supporters and friends with whom it works on the BRICS and SCO platforms, the Communist Party leader believes. However, he said, the US threw in a serious challenge to the Russian Federation.
The parliamentarians do not doubt that the next six years of the presidency will be in the hands of Putin, because, in their opinion, he can cope with many burdens. For example, Nilov is convinced that in a working capacity the head of state can out maneouver many young people.
The fourth term begins practically in the conditions of the cold war with the West, but if some foreign policy problems can be frozen, then it is now, against this background, that unpopular social reforms will have to be carried out, analysts suppose. Moreover, they point out, it would be desirable for the authorities to implement them before 2021, that is, before the start of the new federal election cycle.
“Of course, this is the most difficult time for Vladimir Putin – for the simple reason that he will most likely need to be extreme, and will have to prepare the country for the transfer of power to someone else,” said Alexei Mukhin, general director of the Center for Political Information.
It is already obvious that the coming years for Russia will take place in the conditions of a new cold war and very tough international pressure, said political strategist Yevgeny Minchenko. “Therefore, I think we should not expect any surprises from Putin, it will be, in general, the same Putin.” he said.
The complexity of the situation, he said, is predetermined by two factors: “tough external pressure, plus an obvious crisis of the current economic model.” “That is, we will have to do economic modernization in an unfriendly environment,” Minchenko said.
“I think that Putin will try to educate a new layer of managers who will gradually take over the control levers, in fact, this testing has already begun during the mass replacement of the heads of regions,” he added.
Makarkin noted that it is premature to speculate about a possible successor; the expert found it difficult to say whether this search could begin immediately with the start of a new presidential term, suggesting that we wait for the formation of a new cabinet of ministers.
“Let’s look at the new government structure, for example, if there appears one obvious and possible candidates for successors, then the search has begun … ” the political scientist said.