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Russia: Putin Keeps Key Ministers

Moscow, 18 May 2000 (RFE/RL) - Russian President Vladimir Putin today signed a decree keeping the defense, interior, and foreign ministers in their posts. The decree re-appoints Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev, Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, and Interior Minister Vladimir Rushailo. Putin also retained Justice Minister Yury Chaika and Emergencies Minister Sergei Shoigu. Nikolai Patrushev will remain chief of the Federal Security Service, the domestic intelligence agency. New Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov is due today to lead his first cabinet meeting. Kasyanov was easily confirmed yesterday in a vote by the State Duma, the lower house of parliament. Kasyanov has said the cabinet will be trimmed, with some ministries and agencies cut and others losing staff.