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Russia: Chernomyrdin Appoints New Privatization Minister

Moscow, 13 September 1996 (RFE/RL) -- Russia's Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin appointed a new privatization minister, according to Chernomyrdin's press service.

Alfred Koch, 35, was appointed yesterday, the service told our correspondent. Koch was appointed first deputy privatization minister in 1995, and was serving as acting privatization minister before his appointment yesterday.

The appointment is the first by Chernomyrdin since Russian President Boris Yeltsin issued a decree this week putting Chernomyrdin in charge of the so-called security ministries while the president is off work before his heart surgery later this month.

There is no word whether Yeltsin transferred the power to fire and appoint ministers to Chernomyrdin. The Kremlin did not comment on the appointment. Past privatization ministers have been appointed only by presidential decrees.

Koch replaces Alexander Kazakov, the former privatization minister who left his post after the presidential election. He was appointed first deputy head of Yeltsin's staff.