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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Kadyrov Picks Cousin as Prime Minister

APBaisultanov posing with a kinzhal after being approved as prime minister in the parliament in Grozny on Tuesday.
GROZNY -- Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov appointed his first cousin, Odes Baisultanov, as prime minister on Tuesday.

Kadyrov was sworn in last week after serving as prime minister.

Baisultanov, 42, an economist, was in charge of logistical support for the Chechen presidential administration. He became first deputy prime minister in March 2006.

The Chechen parliament unanimously approved the appointment of Baisultanov, and senior officials presented him with gifts, including a kinzhal, or ceremonial dagger.

Asked by a reporter whether it would be difficult to follow in the footsteps of his cousin, the prime minister replied: "It will be hard, but he has not gone anywhere. He is close by.

"Together we will restore Chechnya and work for the good of our country," he said.

The son of Kadyrov's maternal uncle, Baisultanov grew up in the same Gudermes region of Chechnya as Kadyrov.

Close family links between political figures are not unusual in Chechnya, with blood ties common in the Caucasus region. The Kadyrov clan, former insurgents opposed to Russia's rule of the republic, switched its allegiance to Moscow in exchange for Moscow's backing to run Chechnya.

Akhmad Kadyrov, the former president and Ramzan's father, died in a bomb blast at a stadium in Grozny three years ago.