Medvedev Meets With Security Council

President Dmitry Medvedev convened his potentially powerful new Security Council for the first time Sunday — leaving out Sergei Ivanov, the deputy prime minister long perceived as his rival for the presidency.

Ivanov had been a permanent member of the advisory body under former President Vladimir Putin, whom he served as defense minister and then first deputy prime minister. Medvedev was also a first deputy prime minister, and the two were long seen as the chief rivals for the successorship to Putin.

Ivanov's name was not on a list of presidential Security Council members released by news agencies and confirmed by the Kremlin on Sunday.

The list of permanent and regular members of Medvedev's Security Council will do nothing to dispel suggestions that Putin will continue to wield strong influence as prime minister.

In addition to Putin himself, it includes several Putin allies with top posts or backgrounds in intelligence and security — not a surprise given the purpose of the council.

Its permanent members are its secretary, former Federal Security Service director Nikolai Patrushev, Federation Council Speaker Sergei Mironov, State Duma Speaker Boris Gryzlov, Kremlin chief of staff Sergei Naryshkin, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev, Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov, FSB director Alexander Bortnikov and Foreign Intelligence Service director Mikhail Fradkov. (AP, MT)