Yastrzhembsky To Step Down

Sergei Yastrzhembsky, President Vladimir Putin's chief adviser on relations with the European Union, will leave the Kremlin and will not be included in the new government, Kommersant reported Tuesday.

Yastrzhembsky, who has served as a Putin aide since 2000, has decided to leave of his own accord, the newspaper's Kremlin pool reporter, Andrei Kolesnikov, wrote in a front-page story without citing any sources.

"His fate is decided already: He is leaving the presidential administration and will not go to the government," the report said. "This is his own decision."

Yastrzhembsky's office had no immediate comment on the report.

The EU, Russia's biggest trading partner, has failed to agree on when to start partnership talks with Moscow after more than a year of deadlock.

Yastrzhembsky, 54, served as former President Boris Yeltsin's spokesman in the 1990s.