MOSCOW, May 8 (Itar-Tass) - President Vladimir Putin signed a decree relieving Vladislav Surkov of his post of deputy prime minister of his own accord, the Kremlin press service reported on Wednesday.
The decree relieves Vladislav Surkov of his duties as deputy prime minister - chief of the government staff “in accordance with Article 83, Item ‘d’ of the Constitution of the Russian Federation”.
“Surkov handed in resignation of his own accord, and the president complied with his request,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. “This is linked to the theme of the implementation of presidential decrees,” he added.
In reply to an Itar-Tass query, Peskov said he did not know anything about plans as to his future job placement.
Surkov was appointed Deputy Prime Minister - chief of the government staff at the end of December 2011. He was responsible for the legislative drafting activity, the state policy in media, an administrative reform, issues of civil service as well as innovation activity and cooperation with religious organizations.
At a session on the implementation of presidential on Tuesday, Surkov said the Cabinet was functioning “next to faultlessly”.
At the same time, President Putin was discontented over the fact that decrees are implemented “on paper” but the life of the people is not changing. In particular he expressed displeasure over a slow salary growth in the healthcare sector, a slow pace of work on “road maps” aimed to improve the investment climate, the state program for the development of the Russian Far East.
Besides, over the recent time Surkov’s name has been often mentioned in connection with a scandal around the Skolkovo Foundation, whose activity his supervised.
Earlier, the Russian Investigative Committee opened a criminal case over embezzlement against the Foundation’s Vice President Alexei Beltyukov.
Surkov’s future job
The question about his future job should be put to Surkov, but it can be said with absolute confidence that having such a talent and working experience, he will doubtlessly be in demand at many places, Russian president’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday.
In his words, the Kremlin does not have the information about Vladislav Surkov’s plans to continue his work, particularly in the presidential administration. “I do not know it, it is unclear whether Surkov wants it himself,” Peskov replied to Itar-Tass. “This is not the question to the presidential administration,” he added.
Peskov also could not say for sure when Surkov filed a statement of resignation. “I do not rule out that he wrote it before the meeting (the Russian president held the meeting on the problems of the fulfilment of the May presidential decrees on Tuesday),” the press secretary said.
Vladislav Surkov told the Kommersant daily that he filed a statement of resignation back on April 26, and Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the decree, relieving the latter from the post of the deputy prime minister (on his own volition) on Wednesday, May 8. In reply to the question about the reasons for his resignation Vladislav Surkov said the following, “I will say about it later. When it will be suitable.”
Peskov recalled that “this is the resignation on his volition.” “But the resignation is not related with the theme of the fulfilment of the presidential decrees,” Peskov confirmed. “There is no connection with “the exchange of critical remarks” with Markin or the theme of Skolkovo,” he noted.
Peskov also noted that he is unaware whether the Russian president informed the prime minister about the signing of the decree. “I do not know whether it was discussed or not,” he told Itar-Tass. Peskov recommended ask the government who will replace Surkov at the post of the head of the governmental staff. “I do not know whether any candidates for this post were named,” he underlined.