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Cabinet Shake-Up Adds to Russia Uncertainty

November 05, 1994|The Washington Post

MOSCOW — President Boris N. Yeltsin appointed a former Soviet bureaucrat, once charged with bribery, to be his new finance minister Friday, a move that startled economic reformers and prompted one of them, Deputy Prime Minister Alexander N. Shokhin, to announce his resignation.

The appointment of Vladimir Panskov, 50, to head the Finance Ministry and other recent Cabinet shifts have created an air of uncertainty about Yeltsin's reform program. The three senior economic officials with whom the West had been dealing have all been fired or left the government.

Panskov, 50, told the Russian news agency Interfax on Friday that he favors the current program of tight controls on expenditures. But he sounded skeptical that the government could meet the requirements of its tough 1995 budget, drawn up in consultation with the International Monetary Fund.

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