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MOSCOW, August 4. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree to dismiss Mikhail Zurabov as special representative for the development of trade and economic relations with Ukraine.
"The Decree of the President of the Russian Federation dated August 2, 2012, ‘On the Special Presidential Representative of the Russian Federation on trade and economic relations with Ukraine’ shall be considered to have lost force", says the document published on the official web portal of legal information.
On July 28, Zurabov was relieved of the duties of the Russian Ambassador to Ukraine by the presidential decree. Kremlin’s Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov told journalists eon July 29 that Moscow had asked Kiev for preliminary consent to Mikhail Babich’s appointment as Russia’s new ambassador to Ukraine. Babich used to be the Russian president’s envoy to the Volga Federal District prior to his new appointment.
Mikhail Zurabov was born in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) in 1953. In 1998 he was first deputy minister of health of the Russian Federation, then in 1998-1999 he worked as president’s adviser, while from 1999 to 2004 he was chairman of the board of the Russian Pension Fund.
From March 2004 to September 2007, Zurabov was Russian minister of health and social development, and in 2008 he was once again appointed as presidential adviser.
In 2009 he was appointed Russia’s Ambassador to Ukraine.