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Russia: Yeltsin Names Zadornov First Deputy Prime Minister

Moscow, 25 May 1999 (RFE/RL) - Russian media say President Boris Yeltsin has promoted Mikhail Zadornov to the post of first deputy prime minister in charge of the economy in the country's new government. Zadornov will reportedly keep his post as finance minister. Zadornov, who as first deputy prime minister will also be in charge of loan negotiations with international lending institutions, is considered a staunch supporter of market reforms and has served as finance minister in the three previous Russian governments.

The new appointments follow the dismissal of former Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov by Yeltsin earlier this month and last week's confirmation of Sergei Stepashin as the new premier. Lawmaker Aleksandr Zhukov, who had been widely tipped as the most likely choice for first deputy prime minister for the economy, now is not likely to join the government.

Yeltsin also re-appointed Valentina Matviyenko as deputy prime minister in charge of social affairs. Vladimir Scherbak, who had been a deputy agriculture minister, was appointed deputy prime minister for agricultural affairs.

The appointments were announced after a second round of talks earlier today in Sochi between Yeltsin and Stepashin. Yeltsin, who is in Sochi on vacation, has the final say in the make-up of Russia's government.