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Two officials will perform Alexei Kudrin’s duties

September 28, 2011, 12:20 UTC+3

The prime minister emphasized that he agreed on this reshuffle decision with President Dmitry Medvedev.

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MOSCOW, September 28 (Itar-Tass) — Prime Minister Vladimir Putin divided the duties of the fired vice-premier and finance minister Alexei Kudrin between First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov and Deputy Finance Minister Anton Siluanov on Tuesday. They will perform these duties temporarily. The prime minister emphasized that he agreed on this reshuffle decision with President Dmitry Medvedev.

The prime minister decided to divide the powers of the dismissed minister between two officials, the Kommersant writes. Igor Shuvalov was instructed to control the entire financial and economic policy, Anton Siluanov – to direct efficiently the Finance Ministry.

Igor Shuvalov was earlier in charge in the government of long-term forecasts and specific trends of economic activities in the government concerning the foreign trade, the WTO talks, the tariff policy of natural monopolies and small business. Now Shuvalov’s powers have been enlarged substantially, primarily thanks to a common financial, crediting and monetary policy, the state debt management and financial assets in Russia. He was also instructed to perform the duties to develop and execute the state budget, pursue the tax policy and the state investment policy.

Anton Siluanov is a financier, who started his career in the Finance Ministry back in 1989, the newspaper recalled. From all Kudrin’s deputies he is mostly well aware of a tough budgetary policy, which the fired minister pursued. Anton Siluanov was in charge of inter-budgetary relations before Tuesday, September 27.

Commenting on new appointments, Vladimir Putin warned, just in case, that both appointments “are certainly agreed upon with Dmitry Anatolyevich Medvedev and this is our common decision,” the Novye Izvestia writes. Vladimir Putin did not appoint a new finance minister on Tuesday. He did not dwell on Kudrin either.

The Moskovsky Komsomolets makes guesses who can be finally appointed the finance minister. Minister of Health and Social Development Tatiana Golikova is most frequently mentioned as the major candidate for the post. Before 2007 she has been working in the Finance Ministry for 17 years, starting her career in the ministry as an economic expert and being promoted to the first deputy minister, which was in charge of the budget. In the early 2000s Alexei Kudrin trusted her fully. She was keeping in mind almost all key figures (there are thousands of them). At any moment she could cite them. Kudrin got a strong support from her. Golikova hardly had any political ambitions, but pursued the budgetary policy decently and with confidence. As far as the budgetary skills are concerned it is almost impossible to find a better candidacy than she.

Meanwhile, the Rossiiskaya Gazeta notes that Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov denied some media reports alleging that Alexei Kudrin had agreed on his dismissal with the prime minister in advance. “There was nothing like that. These media reports are untrue,” Peskov remarked.

Kudrin’s dismissal is called landmark, because it should entail the economic policy changes from conservative to innovative ways, the RBC daily writes. “This version will be made official and public,” a governmental official shared his opinion with the newspaper. “However, I cannot imagine, who can undertake such a revolution and whether the authorities are essentially ready to abandon stability in favor of development. Perhaps, this issue will be resolved in the nearest half of the year and the ministry staff will be formed depending on the consensus. No other dismissals or tell-tale appointments are expected in the Finance Ministry before the elections,” he said with confidence.

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