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Former Deputy Premier Surkov returning to Kremlin

August 20, 2013, 10:54 UTC+3

If he had once had disagreement on politics with Vladimir Putin, it is unlikely that anything will change

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In the near future, Vladislav Surkov, the former “grey cardinal” of Russian politics and then deputy premier in the government of Dmitry Medvedev, will take a new job, the Izvestia newspaper writes. Informed sources in the RF government told the daily that the former deputy prime minister has agreed to take the post of presidential aide for innovation. The sources could not clarify when President Vladimir Putin would sign a decree on his appointment.

“Recently, Surkov has been interested in these issues - innovation, modernization and so on. He will deal with these matters on the post of the presidential aide. Perhaps his former deputy prime minister’s position was higher, but the new post satisfies both Vladislav Yuryevich and the country’s leadership,” the sources say.

Vladislav Surkov had started his work in the Presidential Administration in 1999 exactly as Presidential Aide. Then he was Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration and in December 2011, took a post in the government. There he was chief of staff and oversaw innovation issues. His voluntary resignation coincided with a scandal in the Skolkovo Foundation, connected with suspicions that Senior Vice President of the Foundation Alexei Beltyukov illegally spent $750,000 to pay for lectures delivered by an MP.

“He felt uncomfortable in the government. Now Surkov will occupy not a technical position, but will work in the Kremlin - where he will have every opportunity to develop the innovation sphere,” an informed government source stated.

The former deputy prime minister could not be reached by the Izvestia daily for comment. And experts agree that Vladislav Surkov in the near future will not be entrusted with political issues, so the decision on the innovation sphere is the most logical.

“If he had once had disagreement on politics with Vladimir Putin (people close to Surkov say that the former deputy head of the presidential administration had been dissatisfied with the creation of the All-Russia People’s Front (ONF)), it is unlikely that anything will change. He realized this himself, so he took an interest in the work in the innovation sphere,” a former staff member of the RF presidential administration, Professor at the National Research University - Higher School of Economics, Oleg Matveichev, says.

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