Putin names new cabinet

Other News Materials 12 May 2008 15:47 (UTC +04:00)
Putin names new cabinet

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev confirmed Vladimir Putin's choice of cabinet in-line with his new capacity as prime minister on Monday, Russian news agencies reported.

The new line-up contained no radical surprises for Russian watchers, and both Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Defence Minister Anatoly Serdukov retained their posts.

Putin appointed his former prime minster Victor Zubkov and presidential aide Igor Shubalov as his co-first deputy prime ministers, reported dpa.

Along with Subalov, several new names joined the government as the Kremlin expected.

Putin, who has been known to favour personal ties and trust in his appointments, brought in his former Kremlin chief of staff Sergei Sobyanin and deputy chief of staff Igor Sechin.

Many of the new cabinet members hail from Putin's native St Petersburg and have worked with him in the past.

Medvedev, a long-time associate of Putin's also from St Petersburg, said Monday he would approve all the decisions because the two men had agreed on the government structure together over the past two months.

Analysts will be scrutinizing the list as the latest clue to how power will be divided between the powerful and popular Putin and his long-time protege Medvedev.

Under Russia's constitution, the president is responsible for naming the government and Putin's proposals Monday therefore have the weight only of recommendations.

Putin, Medvedev's only candidate for the post of premier, was overwhelmingly confirmed by 392 to 56 parliamentary votes last Thursday.

Medvedev recommended Putin to delegates by vowing his relationship with Putin would only grow stronger and the two would govern in "tandem."