Russia's Prime Minister Has Coronavirus. What's Next?

May 1, 2020 | 15:36 GMT

In an April 30 video conference with President Vladimir Putin, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin announced he would be temporarily stepping back from his responsibilities after testing positive for coronavirus, the virus that causes COVID-19. First Deputy Prime Minister Andrey Belousov, who up until recently served as Putin's direct advisor on economic policy, will now serve as acting prime minister. Given Belousov's expertise and political alignment with Putin, Mishustin's leave is not expected to meaningfully alter government operations or policy direction in Moscow, which has become almost entirely geared toward navigating the economic fallout from low oil prices and economic slowdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Russia's leadership, however, will still be limited in its ability to regain control over its economic growth trajectory amid the global health crisis. ...

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