Presidential Envoy to Urals Dies

The presidential envoy to the Urals Federal District, which includes the country's main oil and gas-producing regions, died of heart failure Tuesday in Moscow, Interfax reported.

Pyotr Latyshev, a former deputy interior minister and one of the original presidential envoys to the seven federal districts, was 61.

In 2000, then-President Vladimir Putin created the seven districts in order to strengthen the Kremlin's control over the regions. Latyshev was appointed by Putin at the time to oversee the Urals Federal District, a position he held until his death. The district covers six of the country's 83 regions -- Kurgan, Sverdlovsk, Tyumen, Khanty-Mansiisk, Yamal-Nenets and Chelyabinsk.

Khanty-Mansiisk produces about 57 percent of Russia's oil output, or about 7 percent of the world's crude, according to the region's web site. Yamalo-Nenets is the world's largest region for natural gas output, which accounts for more than 90 percent of domestic gas output and about 20 percent of global output, RIA-Novosti reported.

President Dmitry Medvedev offered his condolences Tuesday to Latyshev's family, praising the late envoy as "a citizen and patriot of Russia, a true professional," the Kremlin said in a statement.

There was no mention in the Kremlin statement of whom Medvedev might appoint to replace Latyshev, who is to be buried Thursday in Moscow.

MT, Bloomberg