Putin to have 11 Deputy Prime Ministers

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Moscow, May 6: Outgoing Russian President Vladmir Putin, scheduled to be appointed Prime Minister after the swearing-in of President-elect Dmitry Medvedev tomorrow, will have 11 Deputy Prime Ministers, six more than in the current government structure.

Mr Putin, who is expected to be approved by the State Duma, lower house of Russian parliament, on May 8 as Prime Minister, will take some of his presidential staff with him to serve as Deputy Prime Ministers, while at least three of the acting Deputy Prime Ministers will be reappointed, Gazeta reported quoting an unidentified senior government source.

His powerful deputy chief of staff, Igor Sechin, and Kremlin press secretary, Alexei Gromov, may be appointed Deputy Prime Ministers, the source said.

Alexander Zhukov, Sergei Naryshkin and Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin will keep their posts as Deputy Prime Ministers, while current Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov will be appointed as another of Putin's deputies, he said.

First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov could leave his post to head the Russian Security Council, the source said. Meanwhile, outgoing Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov today thanked all with whom he happened to work during 237 days when he headed the government.

''Now, I want to thank sincerely ministers, heads of federal departments and all who participated in our meetings, members of the State Duma and Federation Council as well as scientists,'' he said, addressing the last meeting of the government.

Recently Zubkov said he might head the Russian gas monopoly Gazprom' s board of directors.


UNI

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