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The Russian government will begin its work in a new make-up on Tuesday
The Russian government will begin its work in a new make-up on Tuesday. On Monday night President Vladimir Putin made changes in the government, which has been headed by Viktor Zubkov since September 14. He told about the decrees he had signed at a meeting with members of the new cabinet in the Government Building. As a result of the changes, three ministries got new leaders, and two new state committees were created – the committee for the affairs of the youth and the committee for fishing. Two first deputy prime ministers – Sergei Ivanov and Dmitri Medvedev – retained their posts. The government now has three deputy prime ministers –Sergei Naryshkin, Alexander Zhukov and Alexei Kudrin, who is concurrently the finance minister. Three dismissals announced by Putin produced the greatest effect: German Gref, Mikhail Zurabov and Vladimir Yakovlev are leaving the government. Elvira Nabiullina will replace Gref on the post of minister of economic development and trade. Prior to 2003 she was first deputy minister of economic development and later she headed the expert council of the organising committee for preparing and ensuring Russia’s presidency in Group Eight in 2006. Tatiana Golikova replaced Zurabov on the post of minister of health and social development. Her previous post was deputy finance minister. Dmitri Kozak, up till now official representative of the President in the Southern Federal District, has been appointed minister for regions’ development, to replace Yakovlev. All the remaining members of the cabinet retained their posts. Putin did not accept the resignation of Anatoly Serdyukov from the post of defence minister. Putin explained Kurdin’s concurrence of the posts of deputy prime minister and finance minister by “the raising of the status of the finance minister.” “He will also discharge the duties of deputy prime minister,” the President said. “The structure of the government has been slightly changed,” he continued. “On the suggestion of the prime minister, two new state committees have been created – for the affairs of the youth and for fishing. The functions of the ministry of economic development were specified.” “You know all the colleagues I have introduced. You have known them for a long time, for many years. They are all top-class specialists, who achieved impressive results on their posts,” Putin said. The President hopes that the government in its new make-up will work hard for fulfilling the tasks set before it. “I very much hope that the government in the new make-up, chaired by Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov, will work most strenuously for the attaining of the goals, formulated together with the legislators,” he said. “Now, in this important period, it is necessary for us not only to ensure stable work, but also to promote effectively the fulfilment of our strategic plans and the solution of burning everyday problems,” Putin continued. “They should be fulfilled accurately, in accordance with the plan and without failures… We are facing major tasks both in the sphere of economy and in the social sphere. I am sure that we have enough resources today for doing all that effectively and within the set time limits.” Putin said as well that the system of impartial evaluation of the work of the government, the ministries and the regional administrations would soon be introduced. “Such criteria of efficiency, along with the establishment of personal responsibility of officials, should speed up the work of the administrative staff,” he explained. Addressing the ministers, Putin thanked the previous cabinet for the work done, but, at the same time, criticised it for slowing down the pace of the work. “On the whole, the cabinet worked effectively. We had stable positive dynamics on all the directions of the development of the country. This refers both to the economy and to the solution of social problems. At the same time, the government has reduced the efficiency of its work of late, probably because of the coming parliamentary and presidential elections, and you all known it,” he said. As a result of the changes, women came to occupy important posts in the Russian government for the first time in many years. Elvira Nabiullina is known as an excellent strategist, which is exactly the thing that is needed in the ministry of economic development, because its task is to outline the main strategy of the economic life of the country. Tatiana Golikova is also known as a top-class professional. Over the past few years she was in charge of the drafting of the federal budget. She contributed a lot to drafting the budget for three years to come. Two pairs of close relatives will work in the new government: Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov and Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov, who is his son-in-law, as well as Minister of Industry and Energy Viktor Khristenko and Tatiana Golikova, his wife. State Duma lawyers explained to Itar-Tass that this does not run counter to the law “On public service in the Russian Federation.”
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