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Medvedev Calls For 20 Percent Cut To Russia's Bureaucracy

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev during a budget policy review on June 29.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev today said the number of state officials should be cut by 20 percent in order to increase government efficiency.

In his annual budget address to the government, the Russian president said the funds saved should be used to, as he said, "stimulate" the rest of the workforce.

Russia's bureaucracy grew to more than 1.5 million people under the 2000-08 presidency of Vladimir Putin. Analysts say the system is bloated and corrupt.

Medvedev also urged the government to speed up efforts to privatize some of Russia's state property and businesses.

Medvedev said that although Russia's economy has stabilized after struggling with the global economic crisis, relatively high oil prices make complacency a major risk for development in the coming years.

Medvedev said the economy had stabilized, mostly thanks to anticrisis measures, but improvements could be "temporary."

Russia, which is heavily dependent on energy sector revenues, was hard hit when the global crisis spread and oil prices tumbled in 2008.

compiled from agency reports