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Former Russian Defense Minister's New Role Defined

Sergei Ivanov (file photo) (epa) February 22, 2007 -- First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov has been granted government oversight of vast sectors of Russia's economy.

Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov said today Ivanov will supervise industry, telecommunications, transportation, and science, as well as the nuclear sector and the military-industrial complex.

Some observers have tipped Ivanov as a prospective candidate to succeed Vladimir Putin as president in 2008.

Ivanov was relieved of his post as defense minister and made first deputy prime minister on February 15.

(AFP, Interfax)

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