President Names Cabinet
- By Adam Tanner
- Aug. 20 1999 00:00
President Boris Yeltsin unveiled the new Cabinet on Thursday, giving Prime Minister Vladimir Putin virtually the same team as his predecessor.
Both first deputy prime ministers - Nikolai Aksyonenko and Viktor Khristenko - kept their jobs, and three deputy prime ministers were also renamed.
The reappointments were largely expected, as Putin had said he expected few changes.
Putin was confirmed in office Monday and had already renamed the foreign, defense and interior ministers from the previous government.
The only new figure named Thursday was Alexei Gordeyev, the former first deputy agriculture minister, to head that ministry. The president also replaced Justice Minister Pavel Krasheninnikov this week.
The Cabinet announcements came after Yeltsin met Putin to agree on the new appointments.
"We will be looking at every candidacy thoroughly - thoroughly - so that this time around there are no mistakes," Yeltsin told reporters before meeting Putin. Yeltsin was clearly hoping to avoid his experience with his previous two prime ministers, who spent their first weeks in office quarrelling with the Kremlin over appointments.
In the end, Yeltsin apparently saw few mistakes in the team of ousted Prime Minister Sergei Stepashin. The Kremlin is trying to put together a loyal and united team ahead of an election for the State Duma, or lower house of parliament, in December, and Yeltsin has also said he wants to see Putin succeed him.
Mikhail Kasyanov was reappointed finance minister, Viktor Kalyuzhny was reappointed fuel and energy minister and Alexander Pochinok tax minister. Yeltsin appointed Gordeyev agriculture minister instead of Vladimir Shcherbak, who retained his position of deputy prime minister.
Alexander Livshits, presidential envoy to the Group of Eight leading industrial countries, retained his rank as minister, while State Property Minister Farit Gazizullin and Economics Minister Andrei Shapovalyants also kept their posts.