Putin names Lavrov, Shoigu to United Russia elections list

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin says his foreign minister and his defense minister will head the candidates’ list for the dominant United Russia party in September’s parliamentary election. By placing Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on the list, Putin aims to increase voter enthusiasm for the party whose support has been waning. Both Shoigu and Lavrov have substantial popularity for their firm positions on the military and and challenges to the West. Being on the party list does not oblige them to take parliament seats if elected. Notably absent from the list announced at a party convention was Dmitry Medvedev, the former president and prime minister who is United Russia’s chairman.