Moscow, May 12 (UNI) Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin today appointed former Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov as First Deputy Prime Minister, retaining Sergei Lavrov, Anatoly Serdyukov and Rashid Nurgaliyev in their previous posts of Foreign Minister, Defence Minister and the Internal Minister, respectively.
Mr Putin also appointed his former presidential aide Igor Shuvalov as First Deputy Prime Minister, preserving the two post of First Deputy Prime Ministers. He has increased the number of Deputy Prime Ministers from five to seven.
The five Deputy Prime Ministers will be Sergei Ivanov, who in the previous government held the post of First Deputy Prime Minister, Sergei Sobyanin, who will also be chief of government staff, Alexander Zhukov, who has been placed in charge of national projects, Igor Sechin, who will be overseeing industry, and Alexei Kudrin, who retains the post of Finance Minister.
Zhukov and Kudrin were Deputy Prime Ministers in the previous Cabinet, while Sobyanin and Sechin were senior Kremlin administration officials. Emergencies Minister Sergei Shoigu, Economic Development and Trade Minister Elvira Nabiullina, Health and Social Development Minister Tatiana Golikova, Agriculture Minister Alexei Gordeyev, and Education and Science Minister Andrei Fursenko have also retained their posts.
The former Industry and Energy Ministry has been reorganised into the Industry Ministry and the Energy Ministry, with several ministerial agencies scrapped. Viktor Khristenko has been appointed as the Industry and Trade Minister and Sergei Shmatko as the Energy Minister.
A new Ministry of Sports, Tourism and Youth affairs has been set up and the head of the Russian Football Union Vitaly Mutako has been appointed as its Minister. Yuri Trutnev is in charge of the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry. A new agency for CIS affairs under the Foreign Ministry has also been created.
Earlier Putin presented his proposals on the structure and composition of the new government to President Dmitry Medvedev, in the Kremlin.
''There are some new names on the list,'' he told Medvedev, who indicated on his part, that he might endorse the structure and the names recommended for the posts before today night.
''It so happened that we have had enough time to draft the government's structure and to look at the personalities,'' he said.
''We worked closely together on these issues for the past two months,'' Medvedev said, adding that it is time now to take the necessary decisions.
After his meeting with Medvedev, Putin held the first meeting in the capacity of the Prime Minister in the Government House, where he presented the composition of the new government.
The meeting was opened at the Decorations Hall of the Government House, because the ''capital repairs'' are underway in the Prime Minister's office on the fifth floor.
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