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Russia: Putin Prepares To Change Cabinet, Policies

Moscow, 27 March 2000 (RFE/RL) - One day after being elected Russian president, Vladimir Putin began preparations for changes in both the cabinet and government policies. Putin told a meeting of deputy prime ministers and security aides that they must work more effectively, but questions still remain about the direction his government will take. Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Shoigu was quoted by Russian media as saying after the meeting that Putin had asked ministers to prepare suggestions for cabinet changes. Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov was cited as saying that there will be changes in foreign policy. Ivanov said the changes will focus on a more energetic defense of Russia's national interests. The new government will not be formally installed until Putin is inaugurated in May.