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Russia’s new Cabinet named

May 22, 2012, 12:13 UTC+3

Though three quarters of the government are new appointees, there is no feeling of a staff revolution

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MOSCOW, May 22 (Itar-Tass World Service) — Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has refreshed greatly the government following his earlier promises. The new government’s members were named on Monday. Though three quarters of the government are new appointees, there is no feeling of a staff revolution. Experts would not believe in a reformatory potential of the new ministers and believe that key decisions would be made in the Kremlin anyway.

Russia received a new government on Monday – President Vladimir Putin signed orders on its structure and staff, the Vedomosti writes. Out of 21 ministers, 15 are newcomers. Major structure changes include dividing of the Ministry of Healthcare and Social Development, revival of Rosstroi, and organisation of the Ministry of the development of the Far East.

The new government seems to be more lobbyist than the previous one, a governmental official said. “While Sechin has been associated with the fuel and energy complex, this cannot be said about Dvorkovich. A similar situation is with the appointment of Alexander Novak minister of energy to replace Sergei Shmatko.” Medvedev himself had stressed that lobbyists are in the way of a large-scale privatisation programme, the newspaper writes. on Monday, Igor Shuvalov promised the short-time schedule for privatisation would be ready within ten days.

“The new government’s philosophy is quite clear – the government unites several young and Europe focused technocrats (they are Maxim Sokolov, Nikolai Nikiforov and Arkady Dvorkovich), whose role would be to persuade educated Russians that the power had heard their voices and there is no need for the opposition any longer,” the Izvestia quote political scientist Stanislav Belkovsky as saying.

“It is a technical cabinet relying on technocrats,” Director of the Institute of International Political Expertise Evgeny Minchenko agrees.

Some appointments were unexpected, some were well-foreseen, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta writes. experts say formation of the new government was influenced greatly by the head of the state. Some sources say it will be “a government for future.”

Head of the Effective Politics Foundation Gleb Pavlovsky commented on the list of ministers expressing bewilderment asking “what were the reasons for this delay:” “Why is such a pause and so much talk about a rather ordinary team?” the newspaper quotes the expert as calling the team a compromise: “This is a pure staff compromise between those whom Medvedev preferred and those obligatory from Putin’s point of view.” Thus, the expert said “like it happens usually, here is a transparent approach where the force and economy blocks are regulated by the Kremlin, while Medvedev runs several remaining programmes.”

Anatoly Serdyukov, who managed to keep the position despite many forecasts, looked pleased with the life, the armed forces and the career. His reform is considered successful. However, he is among a few ministers, truly involved in reforming. Even though a certain part of the military elite opposed to it. The fact remains: over several past years Russia has moved towards contracted military service.

Another active reformer, Andrei Fursenko, was not that lucky. The main reasons must have been not even the protests from parents, but rather refusal of conservative university professors and teachers to put up with the system of the united state examinations. On the other hand, the examination has become so typical, that it would not be possible to remove it from the system of the country’s education.

Experts give accurate comments on the new government, calling it “government of deputy ministers:” despite the many reshuffles, the force distribution at the White House is practically unchanged, the RBC daily reports. Despite the tandem’s castling, the list of deputy prime ministers has not changed much. Dmitry Medvedev will be working, like in the past, with seven deputies. The prime minister’s priorities for the coming six months also make the number of seven. They include drafting state programmes, introduction of budget rule and new schedule for privatisation.

Sergei Zhavoronkov is the Gaidar Institute calls the new government “a cabinet of deputy ministers.” “Most new ministers used to be deputies of those dismissed now, or used to be deputies even earlier,” he said. “Deputies are replacing ministers, while ministers go either nowhere or to the Kremlin, from where they would be able to control the government at least partially,” Igor Bunin of the Centre for Political Technologies agrees.

The major advantage of the new government is experience. “This is not a government of kamikazes, who come, organise a breakthrough and die, this is not a technical government like it used to be over two premierships of Putin,” he said. However, the White House would not become almighty: “Putin is keeping his people there, and at the same time continues to control via his presidency those who moved to the Kremlin.”

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