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    RUSSIAN POLITICIANS THINK CABINET DISMISSAL DECISION PRAGMATIC

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    MOSCOW, FEBRUARY 25 (RIA NOVOSTI) - Russian politicians see the decision to dismiss the cabinet of ministers as a pragmatic step.

    "It is very pragmatic, enabling the government's smooth operation," Federation Council speaker Sergei Mironov said on Wednesday.

    "Since early February most ministers were 'packing up', awaiting their lot settled after the presidential election," Mironov said to journalists. "Under the constitution, Vladimir Putin shall announce the new cabinet make-up only after inauguration somewhere on May 7. Since the beginning of February, the cabinet had been knocked out of work for four months - this when many social problems remain unsettled." Sergei Mironov spoke up for cutting the number of agencies in a new government.

    In a conversation with a RIA Novosti correspondent, Valery Draganov, head of the State Duma committee for the economic policy, industry and tourism, also called pragmatic and productive the cabinet dismissal.

    "It is no extravagancy but only sound pragmatism," he said.

    "I like it. I think other parliamentarians also do," Mr. Draganov said.

    He voiced confidence that the new cabinet will be "professional." "A politically-minded cabinet cannot carry out socially oriented reforms," he said.

    In a conversation with journalists in Ufa, head of Bashkortostan (a constituent republic of the Russian Federation) Murtaza Rakhimov said: "Vladimir Putin has taken an unexpected but wholly right and, mind you, responsible decision." "Already now, before the election, Putin may announce to voters the name of a man who during the next presidency will hold the extremely important post of prime minister. Voters will learn who will work side by side with the president," believes Rakhimov.

    Assessing work of the Kasyanov cabinet, Rakhimov said: "It prevented perturbations though some questions could still be put to it." "I think the president hopes the next cabinet will be much more ambitious," Rakhimov added.

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