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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Chubais: Polevanov To Be Fired

Controversial Privatization Minister Vladimir Polevanov, who has called for the renationalization of key Russian industries, appeared on the verge of losing his job Friday as reform chief Anatoly Chubais said there was "no place" for him in the State Property Committee.

Itar-Tass quoted Chubais as telling journalists at the State Duma that Polevanov would be dismissed, signalling "the end of discussion on the new concept of privatization."

"There is no place for Polevanov at the State Property Committee," Itar-Tass quoted Chubais as saying. "He will not work in this organization."

Chubais did not specify when Polevanov would be sacked.

Segodnya newspaper reported Friday that Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin had already endorsed a draft presidential decree on Polevanov's dismissal.

However, government spokesman Sergei Surov did not confirm the report Friday, saying he was not aware of such a document.

"Chernomyrdin does not favor such tough measures," Surov said. "He believes that they are not necessary if a person can draw adequate conclusions from his mistakes."

Polevanov's "mistakes," which have led President Boris Yeltsin to label him "inept," included his suggestion to renationalize privatized oil companies and his description of foreign investment to Russia as "a threat to national security."

Early this month, Polevanov banned foreigners, as well as several press officers, from entering the state Property Committee's headquarters in Moscow. These moves, stock brokers said, deepened the decline in the Russian stock markets.

Polevanov, previously a little-known regional official from the Russian Far East, has headed the State Property Committee since November of last year.