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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Loyal Luzhkov Aide To Run Fiscal Policy




Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov has appointed a new city government nearly identical to the old government - except that control over Moscow's vast chaotic economy has been handed over to an ultra-loyal longtime aide, Deputy Mayor Valery Shantsev.


Shantsev, who served in Luzhkov's first and second administrations, was named first deputy to Luzhkov in the Moscow city government and received responsibility for "economic policy and development" in a mayoral decree published Friday. His old beat, the social sector, was handed to a former Komsomol chief, Lyudmila Shvetsova, news reports said.


It looks like a big promotion for a man who has maintained he would take a bullet for Luzhkov - and was crippled for several months in a 1996 car bombing that many observers labeled political.


But it does not herald big changes in the city economy, analysts said Tuesday, noting that while Luzhkov is on top, policy is likely to remain the same.


Shantsev was widely tipped as a successor to Luzhkov last year when the Moscow mayor was cranking up an apparent bid for the presidency.


Shantsev suddenly emerged into the public eye, turning up in the news more often for playing a role in negotiations with foreign investors or pronouncing on the status of the city's foreign debt than for achievements in public housing, culture, social security or health care - nominally the areas of his expertise.


Konstantin Chernyshov, head of research at NIKoil brokerage, noted that two key figures in Moscow's industrial policy, first deputy mayors Vladimir Resin and Boris Nikolsky, had remained in place.


"This is just a technical reshuffle," Chernyshov said Tuesday.


The only person who seems to have lost out appears to be Deputy Mayor Oleg Tolkachyov. He lost the economic policy portfolio, but kept control over city land and property.