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Yeltsin Names Key Officials To Oversee Economic Reforms

Moscow, Jan. 25 (RFE/RL) - Russian President Boris Yeltsin today named new key officials to oversee Russia's economic reforms.

Yeltsin appointed Vladimir Kadannikov to the post of first deputy prime minister. He named Aleksandr Kazakov to head the State Property Committee, the government body responsible for implementing Russia's privatization program.

Kadannikov, chairman of Russia's largest carmaker, AvtoVAZ, replaces leading reformer Anatoly Chubais, who resigned last week. Kazakov replaces Sergei Belyaev as chairman of the State Property Committee.

Kazakov, an economist by training, formerly headed Yeltsin's committee for territorial administration. Kazakov will also now hold the post of a deputy prime minister.

Although Kadannikov will be more senior than Kazakov, as one of only two first deputy prime ministers, it is unclear if he will retain all the broad powers over economic policy of his predecessor, Anatoly Chubais. Chubais was the brainchild of Russia's privatization program. That program has recently come under criticism by Yeltsin and top government ministers who say the it disregards social issues of concern to many ordinary Russians.