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Putin Announces Acting Finance Minister

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has named Deputy Finance Minister Anton Siluanov as acting finance minister, replacing Aleksey Kudrin, who was ousted a day earlier.

Putin also said that First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov would take over Kudrin's duties as deputy prime minister, overseeing financial issues in the government.

Putin told a cabinet meeting that "both these [decisions] have naturally been agreed with President Dmitry Medvedev. It is our joint decision."

Kudrin rebelled after a weekend party congress at which former two-term president Putin and Medvedev announced their plans effectively to swap posts over the course of parliamentary elections in December and a presidential election in March.

The move by Putin, who is generally regarded as Russia's most powerful politician, could leave him unrivaled atop Russian politics for two six-year terms. He left the presidency in 2008 because of a constitutional limit of two consecutive terms.

compiled from agency reports