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Russia: Putin Reshuffles Governmnent

Moscow, 10 January 2000 (RFE/RL) - Acting President Vladimir Putin today promoted Finance Minister Mikhail Kasyanov to the key post of first deputy prime minister in the Russian cabinet. Emergencies Minister Sergei Shoigu was also promoted to deputy prime minister. Russian news agencies, citing the Kremlin press service, said both men will keep their ministerial portfolios. The agencies said Putin has also demoted two existing first deputy premiers -- Nikolai Aksyonenko, who will keep his portfolio as railways minister, and Viktor Khristenko, who will be one of seven deputy prime ministers.

Kasyanov has been a leading figure in Moscow's negotiations with foreign creditors. Shoigu is the leader of the pro-Putin Unity party which scored well in the December parliamentary elections. The agencies citing the Kremlin said Putin also sacked the Kremlin's property manager, Pavel Borodin. Both Russian and Swiss investigators are probing allegations that Borodin and other Kremlin officials took bribes to secure lucrative contracts to a Swiss-based construction company.