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Putin Formalizes Russian Cabinet Appointments

20 May 2004 -- President Vladimir Putin today formally reappointed members of his cabinet to their jobs.

Putin reshuffled his cabinet in early March, naming a new prime minister and halving the number of cabinet positions from 30 to 17.

The abrupt move came just two weeks before Putin's re-election on 14 March.

The new prime minister, Mikhail Fradkov, then resigned with the rest of the cabinet after Putin's 7 May inauguration as required by the constitution. Putin then renamed Fradkov, who was confirmed by the lower house of parliament last week.

Today, he reappointed the other cabinet members. The most important change was the restoration of the Communications Ministry, which was disbanded as part of the March cabinet reshuffle. Leonid Reiman was reappointed as minister of communication and information technologies.