MOSCOW, January 16. /TASS/. Mikhail Mishustin, former chief of Russia’s Federal Tax Service, has been appointed prime minister. The speaker of the lower house of parliament, Vyacheslav Volodin, said after the voting in the State Duma that Mishustin’s candidature united all legislators "by the hope that the government is expected to translate into reality."
In the capacity of FTS chief Mishustin managed to triple tax revenues and turn the service into the most computerized agency of all. His colleagues and acquaintances describe Mishustin as a professional and demanding personality.
Mishustin has held different positions at the Federal Tax Service for more than 20 years. Both the Kremlin and the government do not hesitate to refer to the FTS as a "hen that lays golden eggs." Indeed, over the eight years he has been at the helm tax collection tripled. Whereas in 2010 the consolidated budget received 7.7 trillion rubles, by 2018 tax revenues soared to 21.3 trillion.
In his Wednesday message to the Federal Assembly President Vladimir Putin promised a number of measures, including support for families, which this year alone would cost the government 450 billion rubles, while over four years to come they will require 4 trillion, as follows from Mishustin’s own estimates. Small wonder, the prime minister’s seat went to a man with a knack for raising money. Moreover, it looks like businesses, who will bear the brunt of the burden, do not mind. On the contrary, they never stop praising the FTS for doing a good job in general.
Nobody has ever noticed Mishustin’s involvement in any high-profile conflict. Even with Finance Minister Anton Siluanov, although the FTS was often called the most independent agency of all those subordinate to the Ministry of Finance. Mishustin has invariably spoken highly of his superiors.
"Possibly it is not very good to sing praises to one’s bosses, but I think I should say a couple of words about First Deputy Prime Minister Anton Siluanov. He does a very important job. His readiness to use modern technologies to address crucial issues makes the performance of the ‘collective Ministry of Finance’ very effective," Mishustin told the daily Kommersant in November last year. And one year before that he told the daily Vedomosti that the Ministry of Finance was a team of "professionals of the highest class."
It is noteworthy that when he took office as FTS chief, Mishustin was introduced to his subordinates by the current head of the Accounts Chamber, Alexei Kudrin, the then deputy prime minister. Kudrin’s comments about his colleague then and now sounded extremely respectful. And in his speech at the Gaidar Forum on Thursday Kudrin described Mishustin as a "leader who has a keen feel for the situation in business and knows how to keep the interests of business and the state in balance."
Mishustin is IT-minded, which, his colleagues and acquaintances say, is one of his indisputable strengths. He has always kept abreast of cutting-edge IT technologies, ever since he had a job at the International Computer Club. It was he who turned the FTS into one of the most computerized agencies. Moreover, now Russia’s Federal Tax Service shares IT experience with counterparts in the industrialized countries. Mishustin himself is a well-recognized expert in this field at the international level.
Demanding boss and positively minded personality
The adjective that describes Mishustin best is ‘demanding,’ says everybody who has had a chance to contact him personally. Exceptionally industrious himself, he never forgives instructions ignored or tasks unsolved, say those who have ever chanced to act on his orders.
His colleagues’ personal comments, both uttered publicly and in private, are exceptionally positive.
"He is smart, easy to contact and never shirks discussion of any issues. Also has a good sense of humor. A very positive personality," a high-ranking official who happened to work with him in the government side by side has told the portal Future of Russia - National Projects.