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Chernomyrdin says new Government to be Formed soon

Moscow, July 5 (RFE/RL) -- Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin today chaired the first cabinet meeting after Wednesday's presidential election runoff and said he will soon disclose the composition of the new government.

President Boris Yeltsin reappointed Chernomyrdin prime minister and called on him to form a new government following his election victory over Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov. In a televised address yesterday Yeltsin called for national reconciliation.

Opening today's meeting of the outgoing cabinet, Chernomyrdin said the composition of the new cabinet will mark "the start of reform for the organs of the Russian government."

Chernomyrdin also said the outgoing government "will continue to work calmly, implementing decisions already adopted and the promises of the electoral campaign."

According to the Russian Constitution, the government must resign after a presidential election. Russian law says the president names all ministers on the recommendation of the prime minister. Both Yeltsin and Chernomyrdin have indicated they are ready to accept some opposition figures into the new government.

Meanwhile the Russian State Duma has sent a message to Yeltsin, congratulating him on his victory. Itar-Tass says the message was approved by all members of the Communist-dominated lower house of the Russian parliament, meeting today in Moscow in extraordinary session.

Chernomyrdin said today Russia's outgoing government plans combatting tax evasion and shady traders. The action is aimed at averting what analysts say is a possible budget crisis.

Interfax news agency reported that Chernomyrdin, addressing a cabinet meeting today, said the government has prepared a package of emergency and long-term measures to improve the budget.

Chernomyrdin said the government "must fight tax evasion and excessive tax exemptions."

He also announced plans to crack down on so-called Russian "shuttle traders" - people who buy goods in nearby countries on tourist trips and re-sell them in Russia, often avoiding taxes or customs duties.

Chernomyrdin said the government will not ban such shuttle traffic but want to bring order to this kind of trade. Shuttle traders have played a major role in Russia's post-Soviet economy, providing cheap consumer goods, mostly from Turkey and China.