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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Cabinet Called On Mobiles

The new no-nonsense prime minister, Sergei Stepashin, had some tough advice for colleagues attending Thursday's Cabinet meeting - leave your mobile phones at home.

"Let's restore some order here," he said after acting Economics Minister Andrei Shapovalyants was constantly interrupted during an address by the ringing of mobile telephones.

"If not, we'll soon have people bringing not mobile phones but bombs to Cabinet sessions," Stepashin said, presiding over the weekly gathering for the first time as prime minister.

Stepashin, a former interior minister, has made clear he wants to improve discipline in Russia's public life and in its shattered economy.

Confirmed as prime minister on Wednesday by the lower house of parliament, Stepashin, 47, is now trying to decide on the lineup of his government.

Mobile phones are widely used in Russia, especially among the country's business and political elite where they are prized as a status symbol.