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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Kudrin Gets Sweeping New Powers

VedomostiKudrin and Zhukov at an April 18 meeting. Zhukov will supervise regional development and the investment fund.
Deputy Prime Minister Alexei Kudrin received sweeping power over the national economy and finances, including the budget, foreign debt, state-run monopolies and customs rules in the new Cabinet, according to a government decree published Friday.

Kudrin, who will also retain his post as finance minister, increased the remit of his portfolio largely at the expense of Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov after being promoted in the Sept. 24 Cabinet reshuffle.

Kudrin's elevation is widely viewed as a sign that the country will adhere firmly to liberal economic policies in the run-up to the State Duma elections in December and the presidential vote in March.

The decree gives Kudrin supervisory powers over the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service, the Federal Financial Markets Service and the Federal Customs Service. Kudrin earlier said that he would oversee the Economic Development and Trade Ministry.

Customs regulations were previously under the control of Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Naryshkin.

"Kudrin has consistently defended a tight budget policy and has been able to prevail," said Anton Struchenevsky, an economist at Troika Dialog. "If this man gets more control over economic policy, we can hope that the efficiency of state policy will increase. … Funds will not be lost or misused."

Zhukov will receive new responsibilities, such as monitoring regional development and the Investment Fund, the turf of Regional Development Minister Dmitry Kozak. The Investment Fund has been allocated $4.4 billion this year in addition to substantial reserves left over from last year.

Zhukov will also oversee multibillion-dollar preparations for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. His brief will also include housing maintenance, which will be boosted by $10 billion in spending over the next five years. The money will be disbursed through a state housing maintenance fund that is currently being created.

Zhukov is also taking over Naryshkin's responsibilities to supervise federal property.

First Deputy Prime Ministers Sergei Ivanov and Dmitry Medvedev's responsibilities remain largely as before. The government decree signed by Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov tasked Ivanov, who is already in charge of industry, defense and innovation, with overseeing technical regulations as an extra duty.

Medvedev has youth policy added to his brief, making him supervisor of the new State Committee for Youth Affairs. Medvedev also focuses on the four national projects, mass media, the justice system, natural resources and environment.

Naryshkin will gain oversight of the fishing industry — and the new State Fisheries Committee — in addition to his former responsibilities. Naryshkin also supervises foreign trade, relations with the former Soviet republics, tourism and disaster relief.