Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has unveiled a new cabinet asserting his control over the government headed by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.
Mr. Putin and Mr. Medvedev swapped their jobs earlier this month, but Mr. Putin’s appointees have retained key positions in the cabinet. These include Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
Mr. Medvedev’s protégé Arkady Dvorkovich, who was his economic adviser in the Kremlin, has been named one of six Deputy Prime Ministers, failing to oust Mr. Putin’s ally, Igor Shuvalov, from the post of First Deputy Prime Minister in charge of economic policy.
Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, appointed in December to oversee defence industry, has also kept his seat. Mr. Rogozin is expected to retain his chairmanship of the Russian side of the Indo-Russian Intergovernmental Commission.
Mr. Putin’s energy “tsar” Igor Sechin has left the government because he has strained relations with Mr. Medvedev, but is expected to keep control over the oil and gas industry as Mr. Putin recently nominated him to the board of Rosneftegaz, the gas subsidiary of Rosneft, Russia's main oil company.
In a possible gesture to recent mass anti-government protests, Mr. Putin has replaced the highly unpopular Interior, Health and Education Ministers.
Keywords: Russian poltics