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    MOSCOW, February 24th, 2004 (RIA Novosti correspondent) - Acting Prime Minister Viktor Khristenko will chair a government session on Thursday, said a source in the government.

    "Viktor Khristenko was scheduled to fly to Kazakhstan as a vice premier. However, in light of the changes, he will chair a government session and then leave for Alma-Ata for a session of EURASEC prime ministers as an acting premier," said the source.

    Despite the dismissal, the Russian government is operating as before, all vice premiers and ministers are continuing to perform their duties, said the source.

    "According to the law on the state service, all the deputy prime ministers and ministers belong to the A category and are considered 'acting' until the new cabinet is formed. The same is true for the secretariat. The rest of officials are of the B category, i.e. they remain at their posts as before, without the 'acting' prefix," the source explained.

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