On April 25, 2012, more than seven years after the abolition of the gubernatorial elections, the State Duma reintroduced the elections. With a series of reforms such as the reintroduction of gubernatorial elections and changes to the electoral system to the State Duma Medvedev to the mass protests after the parliamentary elections in December 2011 responded. Critics consider the rules of the new law to be so strict that only hand-picked politicians continue to be governors. In addition, the Duma passed a law that exempts parties from collecting support signatures for elections. Extra-parliamentary parties only have to submit such signatures for presidential elections: their number has been reduced from two million to 100,000. Self-applicants in presidential elections will have to prove 300,000 supporters’ signatures instead of two million.
One day after leaving the Kremlin, ex-President Medvedev was elected Prime Minister by the State Duma on the proposal of the new President Putin. With the confirmation of Medvedev announced in September 2011, authorities in exchange leadership tandem completed.
With his article “Forward, Russia!” Medvedev started a modernization discussion in 2009, and in the State of the Union address he spoke of some concrete measures to promote a modern Russia. The country’s dependence on raw materials is to be put aside, the primitive economic structure is to be converted into an economy based on innovation and technology. He named the numerous problems that his administration had to solve: the weakness of the legal system, widespread corruption, the economy’s dependence on raw materials, the demographic crisis with high death rates and low birth rates, the neglected infrastructure in all areas of transport and communal supply, the lack of capital in the Russian economy and the weakness of civil society and the party system.
According to computergees, one of the main goals of the Russian government is to promote innovation. The central element of this is the establishment of technology parks. In these, companies in high-tech branches of industry such as nano, bio and information technology, universities and research institutions should jointly develop innovative products and market these themselves.
In addition, four national projects that promote education, health, agriculture and housing are intended to modernize the state and society. In the long term, total expenditure on education and agriculture is to be increased by more than 30%, expenditure on health care by 60% and that on housing construction by even 300%. The additional funds for this come from the reserve fund. At the end of January 2008, the stabilization fund set up in 2004 was divided into the “reserve fund” and the “national welfare fund”. The funds are fed from tax and customs revenues from oil and gas exports. The reserve fundAs with the stabilization fund before, investments should be made with the aim of achieving the highest possible level of security. Government spending can also be financed through the reserve fund as soon as its value exceeds 7% of GDP. The welfare fund can invest more risky for higher returns. Among other things, it is used to finance pensions. Around $ 20 billion of this was used to finance the anti-crisis program in 2015.
Putin’s third presidency
The third presidential Putin was marked by political continuity from. The Medvedev modernization agenda continued. At the same time, Putin has further expanded the welfare state and strengthened the defense sector. In the 2013 budget adopted by the Cabinet for 2014 to 2016, the goal of narrowly limiting budget deficits through spending savings was still given priority.
The influence of the state on society was further expanded in order to prevent domestic criticism and political influence from abroad. This is evidenced by numerous legislative changes that were passed in 2012. For example, the penalty for defamation was reintroduced and charged with 500,000 rubles (12,500 euros). The so-called Agents Act stipulates that non-governmental organizations operating in Russia that are financed from abroad must in future register as “foreign agents”. The right to assemble and demonstrate has also been tightened. In addition, the State Duma passed a law that tightened the definition and punishment for treason and espionage. If convicted, they face twelve to twenty years imprisonment. The authorities and politicians also caused a stir with their actions against opposition politicians. The murder of the opposition politician Boris Nemtsov has heightened distrust between state power and the extra-parliamentary opposition.
One of the central themes of the modernization agenda is the fight against the corruption and legal nihilism. Reforms carried out under the rule of law, such as the establishment of a judges ‘council to promote judges’ self-administration, the adoption of new procedural rules and the significant increase in salaries, however, had little effect on the judiciary’s dependence on instructions from the executive and the corruption prevailing there. In February 2012 Russia joined the OECD Anti-Corruption Convention.
In 2019, Russia ranks 137th out of 180 in the corruption perception index of Tansparency International with 28 out of 100 possible points (0 points = high level of corruption).