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Putin Nominates Kudrin To Top Audit Chamber Position

President Vladimir Putin (left) and Finance Minister Aleksei Kudrin speak to each other during a meeting of economy ministers in Moscow in March 2004.

President Vladimir Putin has nominated former longtime Finance Minister Aleksei Kudrin as the head of Russia's Audit Chamber, the lower chamber of parliament says.

The State Duma's press service made the announcement on May 21, nearly a week after the United Russia faction in the chamber formally nominated Kudrin for the post.

The Audit Chamber is an oversight agency that monitors the spending of government funding.

Kudrin's appointment would bring Kudrin, now CEO of the Center for Strategic Research think-tank, closer to Putin's government after years without a state position.

Kudrin helped stabilize Russia's finances and attract investors as finance minister during Putin's first two terms, in 2000-2008.

He quit in 2011 amid a spat with then-President Dmitry Medvedev, who has been prime minister since Putin returned to the Kremlin in 2012.

Although he often makes statements critical of the government, Kudrin is believed to be on close terms with Putin.

Russia's economy emerged from two years of recession in 2017, but fell short of Putin's target of 2 percent expansion and continues to struggle for stronger growth.

Putin has set the ambitious goal of making Russia one of the world's five biggest economies by 2024 -- up from 12th last year, according to the International Monetary Fund.

Based on reporting by Interfax and TASS