JRL NEWSWATCH: “Coronavirus crisis leaves Russian government rudderless” – Financial Times/ Henry Foy, Max Seddon

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

Prime ministerial stand-in faces task of managing pandemic while getting economy moving again

“… Mikhail Mishustin … the little-known tax official [dubbed by Putin to be Prime Minister] was meant to spearhead a push for stimulus spending to help [Putin] … remain in power. Four months later, [because of] coronavirus … there is no longer the money to spend … [and] the 54-year-old has temporarily resigned his post … holding meetings from … the state hospital where he is recovering from Covid-19. … [H]is stand-in Andrei Belousov … longtime economic adviser to … Putin, [has a task that] borders on the impossible. Suppress the world’s second-fastest growing rate of coronavirus infections while … lifting a six-week-long national lockdown … paraly[zing] the economy [at a time when Putin’s popularity already is at a record low] …..”

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