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    NEW STRUCTURE OF RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT TO BE DETERMINED BY MARCH 14

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    MOSCOW, March 1, 2004 (RIA Novosti) - The new structure of the government of the Russian Federation and candidates for ministerial posts will be determined by March 14, Vladimir Yakovlev, the acting deputy prime minister, told reporters on Monday.

    According to him, Mikhail Fradkov may appear at the Government House on Tuesday to begin discussing the structure of the future Cabinet of Ministers with acting members of the government. Mr. Yakovlev is convinced that the number of the ministries will be cut and part of their functions will be given to federal agencies. However, he could not say how many deputy prime ministers would be in the new government.

    "Well, it is difficult to say how many deputy prime ministers will be in the new government, much will depend on the new prime minister," Mr. Yakovlev said.

    The commission for administrative reform, headed by acting vice prime minister Boris Alyoshin, was preparing proposals on this issue. "However, now we can only guess what this structure will look like," concluded Mr. Yakovlev.

    Today, President Vladimir Putin presented Mikhail Fradkov, the candidate for prime minister, to the Lower House of Parliament for their approval.

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