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Longtime Putin Associate Rejects Federation Council Seat

The former chief of the Russian Railways company has asked the reelected governor of Kaliningrad not to appoint him the region's representative in the upper chamber of parliament, the Federation Council.

Vladimir Yakunin, who is known as a longtime close business partner and associate of President Vladimir Putin, told reporters in Moscow on September 15 that he decided to refuse the proposal by Kaliningrad Governor Nikolai Tsukanov.

Tsukanov proposed on August 17 that Yakunin take the parliamentary seat.

On August 20, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev accepted Yakunin's resignation as the chief of Russian Railways, which he had led since 2005.

The chairman of the Federation Council's committee for regulations, Vadim Tyulpanov, said after Yakunin's announcement that the region will be represented either by lawmaker Oleg Tkach, who currently holds the seat, or by the mayor of the city of Kaliningrad, Aleksandr Yaroshuk.

Based on reporting by RIA Novosti and Interfax

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