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Putin Names New Cabinet, Picks Zone Representatives

May 19, 2000|From Associated Press

MOSCOW — President Vladimir V. Putin named his new Cabinet on Thursday, reappointing most ministers from former President Boris N. Yeltsin's government but reducing the number of ministries and government agencies.

Putin also named presidential representatives to the seven administrative zones he recently carved out of the world's largest nation in an effort to solidify federal control over the regions. Five of the seven envoys are generals with the army, police or intelligence services--reinforcing Putin's promises to restore stability by strengthening the state and cracking down on unruly regions.

But some politicians balked at his proposals to reform the upper house of parliament and give the president the right to fire governors, saying that power could easily be abused.

"If governors are caught stealing or have grown fat, there must be instruments" to remove them from power, said Kemerovo Gov. Aman Tuleyev. "But it shouldn't become a political massacre."

Igor D. Sergeyev retained his position as defense minister, and Igor S. Ivanov was reappointed foreign minister. Interior Minister Vladimir B. Rushailo will continue overseeing the police force, and Sergei K. Shoigu was reappointed emergency situations minister. German O. Gref, a top Putin economics advisor, was named economics and trade minister.

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