EXECUTIVE REFORM WILL AFFECT ALL LEVELS IN RUSSIA, SAYS FRADKOV

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MOSCOW, March 12, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - A reform of the executive branch in Russia will affect both the regional and local levels, said Russia's Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov.

The premier said that the first stage will be to redistribute the functions of existing federal ministries and governmental departments, and clearly delineate powers according to three levels of the federal executive branch.

"But this is only a beginning, the task later will be extended to the regional level, to local self-government," indicated Mr. Fradkov as he addressed on Friday the first meeting of the intergovernmental commission on the system and structure of the federal executive branch.

"The most important thing is that the functions defined as redundant at the federal level should not be automatically downscaled to the local level," the premier believes.

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