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Putin gives finance chief new status

September 25, 2007|From Times Wire Reports

Russian President Vladimir V. Putin boosted the authority of Finance Minister Alexei L. Kudrin in a government reshuffle that dropped Economy Minister German O. Gref.

Putin kept Kudrin, 46, as finance minister and promoted him to deputy prime minister, a vote of confidence in a man credited with masterminding Russia's return to financial health after the turmoil of the 1990s.

Putin reshuffled his Cabinet after sacking Prime Minister Mikhail Y. Fradkov and naming Viktor Zubkov, a little-known financial regulator, to replace him.

Gref was the biggest casualty, replaced by 44-year-old Elvira Nabiulina, a think-tank boss and his former deputy minister.

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