17:57 GMT +318 October 2017
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    DUMA VICE-SPEAKER PEKHTIN THINKS THE NUMBER OF FEDERAL MINISTERS WILL BE CUT

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    MOSCOW, MARCH 2 (RIA NOVOSTI CORRESPONDENT VIKTORIA PRIKHODKO) - The number of federal ministries and departments should be cut from 24 to 14-16, believes the State Duma (the lower chamber of Russian parliament) vice-speaker Vladimir Pekhtin of the United Russia faction.

    "I think it will be like this," he told reporters.

    In Mr. Pekhtin's opinion, the number of vice-premiers should also be reduced - one first and one ordinary deputy premier.

    The proposal of candidate for premiership Mikhail Fradkov to appoint Alexander Zhukov, current vice-speaker of the State Duma, as the first vice-premier came unexpectedly for Mr. Pekhtin, he said. Still, he approved it. "It claims for United Russia a part of cabinet posts," Mr. Pekhtin believes.

    In his opinion, about ten United Russia people can claim posts in a new cabinet. Even two or three of them means "a weighty influence in the cabinet," he stressed.

    Mr. Pekhtin is also for the present cabinet members who have embarked on reforms to carry them to the end and retain seats in the new cabinet.

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