Russia cabinet to be announced next week-Zhukov

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SOCHI, Russia, Sep 22 (Reuters) Russia's new cabinet lineup will be announced next week, acting Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov said today, declining to reveal whether he had received an offer to join.

''You will receive full information on this issue next week,'' Zhukov told a news conference in the Black Sea resort town of Sochi, answering a question whether President Vladimir Putin asked him to stay.

Putin dismissed the entire cabinet this month and appointed little-known ally Viktor Zubkov the new prime minister. More than one week after Zubkov's confirmation in the parliament, Putin gave no hints at who else may enter the new cabinet.

Putin said yesterday at a meeting with Russian and foreign businessmen he had received cabinet structure proposals from Zubkov and would make a decision within days.

Acting Economy Minister German Gref, speaking alongside Zhukov, said it did not matter for the country's investment climate whether Russia had a government or not.

''I think investors understand perfectly well the political and economic situation in the country and see that President Putin is the key factor,'' Gref told a news conference in Sochi, which held a large investment forum this wee.

Zhukov and Gref briefly met Putin yesterday during the tour of a local investment exhibition. Putin, who is on holiday at his residence near Sochi, is due to step down next year.

''We have lived through to a happy moment when regardless of whether Russia has a government or not investors are still ready to invest 23 billion dollars,'' Gref said referring to the total amount of investment envisaged in deals signed during the Sochi forum.

Gref and Zhukov left the investment conference several hours earlier than planned and headed to Moscow, where acting cabinet members are due to meet with Putin on Monday.


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