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Government’s resignation not to affect Russia’s relations with foreign countries — expert

"Some slight changes are likely but they are not going to be significant, as Russia’s foreign policy is headed by president," he said

MOSCOW, January 15. /TASS/. The resignation of the government will not have a drastic impact on Russia’s ties with other counties, since the head of state defines the country’s foreign policy, Chairman of the Board of the Foundation for Development and Support of the Valdai Discussion Club Andrei Bystritsky told TASS on Wednesday.

"It will not affect the foreign policy. Some slight changes are likely but they are not going to be significant, as Russia’s foreign policy is headed by president. He keeps on acting and he quite clearly announced the immediate objectives of Russia's foreign policy in his address, including the role of permanent members of the UN Security Council and so on," he said.

When asked how this pivotal event in Russia’s domestic political life can be perceived by other states, the political scientist pointed out that it is unlikely "to have a fundamental effect on Russia's relations with the neighboring countries."

"I do not think that the government’s resignation will somehow shake up the perception of Russia by other countries, including Western ones. Another thing is that they will become more concerned about who are to come in charge of certain sectors in the Russian government, who will handle the foreign policy, economy and so on. It will be curious, as the people who come and bring something new are always interesting. I think that the making up of a new government will prompt a more substantial response than its resignation," he added.

The expert pointed out that in his State of the Nation Address Putin quite clearly outlined the problems hampering the country’s growth.

"The economy, healthcare and education. We should be looking forward to certain changes in these fields," Bystritsky said. "I feel that if taking into consideration the seriousness of the address, having opted for resignation, the government has opened a blank page for the president from the point of view of some reshuffling, which is needed to implement his plans, but it is hard to say how radical they are going to be."

On Wednesday, during Putin’s meeting with the cabinet members, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said it was right for the government to resign in conformity with Article 117 of Russia’s Constitution. Russian President Vladimir Putin in his State of the Nation Address to the Federal Assembly (both houses of Russia’s parliament) put forward a proposal of amending Russia’s Constitution. In particular, he spoke about delegating to the State Duma the authority of approving the candidate for prime minister, along with the deputy prime ministers and ministers nominated by the new prime minister. Moreover, the president will be obliged to appoint the candidates confirmed by the lower house of parliament.