March 11


Today, Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov will hold the first session of the new government. It will focus on ways to implement the president's decree on the new structure of federal bodies of executive power. Mr Fradkov gave his first major press conference yesterday, Izvestia writes, which was dedicated to this issue. He explained that "serious movement" was at issue, but the direction of the movement remained unclear.

The plans of the government reform's initiators are contained in brief in the decree on the new structure of federal bodies of executive power signed the day before. At today's government session the re-appointed and new ministers will discuss how to implement the president's decree.

"The government needs people who see beyond their own interests, then business will become integrated in the system," Fradkov said about his subordinates. He compared the new government structure to a pyramid: "We are building a kind of a pyramid topped by ministries".


How the new government machine works will become clear in May when, according to the Constitution, the Cabinet will have to resign again, which the president promises will be a mere formality. Within a month, the government is to issue resolutions on each ministry specifying its powers, but it has two months to adopt the new ministries' regulations.

However, according to Gazeta, there will be much more paper work. The government staff will have to prepare amendments to at least 15 laws related to the government's work. Only then it will become clear which documents should be signed by the prime minister, his deputy or by the new "super-ministers".


Until late last night, Rostov-on-Don expected Vladimir Yakovlev, the former deputy prime minister, who was recently appointed as the presidential envoy to the southern federal district. The fate of his predecessor, Viktor Kazantsev, has not been determined yet, the newspaper writes. At present, he is on a long vacation and afterwards may have to retire. Vladimir Putin signed the decree dismissing Kazantsev from his post on Tuesday. There was not a word explaining the move. The envoy's office declined to make any official comment, though head of the information and analytical department Leonid Baklitsky said that the news had been "unexpected for the staff".

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