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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Yeltsin Denies Layoff Rumors

President Boris Yeltsin and other officials denied Friday that there were plans to lay off more than 200,000 state workers as part of a proposed streamlining of the government.

Alexei Kudrin, the acting deputy finance minister who announced the planned cutbacks earlier this week, backed away from his comments Friday and said no final decision had been made.

Yeltsin said he knew nothing about any planned layoffs.

"I have never heard anything about it and this issue has never been discussed,'' the president was quoted as saying by Itar-Tass. "This is either a provocation or he simply invented that."

Yeltsin said he planned to decrease the number of government ministers and top aides, but those cutbacks would involve relatively small numbers.

Kudrin had said employees in regional branches of federal agencies, the health and education sectors would be most affected by the proposed cutbacks.

But Yeltsin was adamant that there was no plan to let any teachers go.