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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

President Is Delaying Government Shakeup

Three days after hinting he may support a government reshuffle, President Vladimir Putin told Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov on Monday "not to rush" with proposals for overhauling the Cabinet.

Putin made his wishes known to Fradkov at a Cabinet meeting in the Kremlin, Interfax reported.

On Friday, Fradkov told Putin during a meeting at the president's Moscow region retreat of Novo Ogaryovo that he would like "to refine the structure of the government and resolve several personnel issues."

Fradkov indicated at Friday's meeting that he would like a single procurement agency for government ministries.

Putin responded to the proposal by noting that "as for bigger changes, you know my position."

The president's comment prompted speculation among reporters that a shakeup of the Cabinet could be imminent.

Kommersant predicted that a reshuffle involving the Economic Development and Trade, Health and Social Development, and Industry and Energy ministries could happen this spring.

While the ministries might be weakened, the newspaper said, the agencies they oversee would get a boost.

Fradkov has repeatedly attacked Economic Development and Trade Minister German Gref. It has been widely reported that the prime minister wants Gref, who has direct access to Putin, fired.

Calls to the government press office went unanswered Monday.