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Russia's economic development and trade minister said Wednesday he was ready to take on a new job if the situation demanded
Russia's economic development and trade minister said Wednesday he was ready to take on a new job if the situation demanded, but that he was unconcerned about possibly being fired. Rumors have been circulating of Gref's imminent departure since Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov proposed at a cabinet meeting June 1 to effectively hive off part of German Gref's ministry and make a separate trade ministry as a way to boost declining Russian exports. "I do not like promotions, but I do not care about being sacked, since I am positive that can I adapt on the market," Gref said, answering reporters' questions on his possible departure. "These rumors are not important. This is all trifles," he said. A high-ranking source in the government said earlier that the creation of a new ministry was plausible, but was linked to cadre shortage and balance between trade and production, rather than the reason announced by Fradkov. A separate trade ministry should be staffed by at least 300 highly qualified professionals, he said. "I believe that a separate ministry is not necessary, and where this function [trade] should be performed and how it should be integrated - with industry or the economy - remains open for discussion," the source said, adding that trade could become a function of the Ministry of Industry and Energy.
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