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New russian government makeup may be announced next weekend

May 14, 2012, 13:47 UTC+3
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The makeup of Dmitry Medvedev’s government can be announced next weekend, the media write. It will be some 70 percent renewed and will be more responsive to the needs of citizens.

According to RBC Daily, the structure of the Cabinet has been practically formed, but the key personnel question is still not fully settled. Two variants of staffing have been under discussion. The main battle, as multiple sources told RBC Daily, is for the post of chief of the government staff.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev will table the structure and staff composition of the government to President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday. “The work on the formation of the Cabinet has not yet been completed. The announcement of its composition is expected after the prime minister’s return from Washington,” Russian presidential press secretary Natalya Timakova told the publication.

Dmitry Medvedev will attend the Group of Eight Summit in Washington on May 18-19. According to the publication, Vladimir Putin intends to initially approve the structure of the government, which will take two or three days, and only then – on May 22-23, to approve its members. The Kremlin and White House sources told the newspaper that the structure has almost been shaped up. “Everything remains, in general, as before,” a government official said.

According to RBC Daily’s Kremlin source, the new government will include from seven to nine deputy prime ministers in the key spheres, and one first deputy prime minister. This post will be retained by Igor Shuvalov, who had already been instructed at the first meeting with Dmitry Medvedev to take control over the fulfilment of orders given to the government by Vladimir Putin after his inauguration.

The issue has been largely settled with other personalities too. It is planned to give the posts of the vice prime ministers to the current Deputy Prime Minister for Defence Dmitry Rogozin and President’s Economic Adviser Arkady Dvorkovich (in the new Cabinet he is most likely to become Deputy Prime Minister for social affairs). Vladislav Surkov, who is in charges of innovations, is also likely to retain the deputy prime minister’s post. All the three, in fact, will become new appointees, as Surkov and Rogozin were appointed with the participation of Dmitry Medvedev.

Dmitry Kozak will most likely retain the deputy prime minister’s post, and Minister of Economic Development Elvira Nabiullina and Finance Minister Anton Siluanov will get this position for the first time. According to RBC Daily, his predecessor Alexei Kudrin (despite the conflict with Medvedev, he continues his friendship with Vladimir Putin) has been allegedly offered several senior management positions outside the government structure, in particular, the Central Bank head’s post, but he has so far turned down the proposal.

According to the Kremlin official, “without the security bloc, the government will be 70 percent renewed.” The most likely candidature for resignation among the security officials is considered Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev. New personalities are being selected with difficulty and have still have not been 100 percent agreed upon.

But the main battles are around one post. Several centres of influence have been struggling for the key post of the government’s chief of staff for several weeks. Vladislav Surkov very much wants to get this position. A high-ranking source told RBC Daily that this option is really being considered. “Medvedev is kind to Surkov and Surkov himself has made major efforts to get the job,” the source explained.

However, Surkov’s rival has recently appeared. The lobbying of Arkady Dvorkovich – a man from Medvedev’s entourage, has been launched for the desired position. There has also been talk of the possibility of appointing for the post businessman Mikhail Abyzov, who together with Dvorkovich over the past few months in the status of Medvedev’s adviser has been engaged in the formation of the Open Government and, in fact, creating a program for the new prime minister.

The reason for the bitter struggle for this post in its serious staff weight, stresses the newspaper.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev intends to make his Cabinet more responsive to the needs of citizens, Vedomosti writes. Several people from the Open Government will appear in it, and the bureaucratic obstacles will be overcome by the accelerated introduction of the ‘electronic government’ system.

On Saturday, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev held his first meeting, the newspaper writes. He said that by Tuesday he would submit to President Vladimir Putin his proposals on the structure of the Cabinet, but has urged to start to settle two sets of issues.

The first - the issues that were discussed at his Open Government meeting: the development of competition, improvement of legislation on civil service, combating corruption, etc., the second - orders given by Putin in his inaugural decrees. Medvedev has instructed First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov to oversee this work.

The Open Government is an informal club of officials and experts working on the agenda of Medvedev’s Cabinet, the publication stressed. At the latest meeting with him on Thursday it was decided to set up a commission of 10-15 experts of the Open Government, and within the government staff - a special structure (department) for supporting its activities. The appointment of a vice premier for the interaction with the Open Government, the admission of several of its members to the current government is also under discussion, members of the Open Government, officials of the RF government and presidential administration said. Mikhail Abyzov, who coordinates the Open Government activities, can become deputy prime minister.

It is difficult to predict whether Putin will approve or nor the personnel and structural proposals of Medvedev, believes an official of the presidential administration, quoted by the publication. 

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