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    STATE DUMA VICE SPEAKER SLISKA BELIEVES CABINET'S REDUCTION IS REAL BEGINNING OF ADMINISTRATIVE REFORMATION

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    MOSCOW, March 9, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - The reduction of the Cabinet is the first step of the reformation of administration, State Duma (Parliament's lower chamber) First Vice Speaker Lyubov Sliska disclosed on Tuesday to a RIA Novosti correspondent.

    "None of the budgets of any country are capable for providing for such amount of officials in the cabinet," she said, having added that she highly evaluates the reduction of officials in the cabinet from 30 to 17.

    The new composition was announced on Tuesday. According to Ms. Sliska, she was pleased with the appointment of Sergei Lavrov on the post of the Russian Foreign Minister.

    "I can say for certainly that he is a high-level professional, diplomat and outstanding negotiator," she noted.

    Ms. Sliska said that she is also satisfied with the appointment on the previous posts of Sergei Shoigu and Sergei Ivanov.

    "I had no doubts that Mr. Kudrin, Mr. Gref and Mr. Khristenko will remain in their offices, since they are also professionals," the State Duma First Vice Speaker added.

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