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    NEW NATURAL RESOURCES MINISTER IS CAPABLE OF FULFILLING ANY TASK

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    NIZHNY NOVGOROD, March 10, 2004 (RIA Novosti) - Yury Trutnev, who was appointed Russian Natural Resources Minister yesterday, used to be one of the most potent and talented governors in the Volga Federal District, according to Sergei Kiriyenko, the president's envoy to the district.

    Until yesterday's appointment, Mr. Trutnev was Governor of the Perm region, which is part of the Volga district in the east of European Russia.

    "Efficient, hard-working and strong-willed, he is capable of fulfilling any task whatsoever," Mr. Kiriyenko said describing the new minister.

    The Perm region is rich in oil, potassium, diamonds and other natural resources, and Mr. Trutnev, as the ex-Perm governor, knows the problems facing the mining industry very well, according to Mr. Kiriyenko.

    The Perm region under Mr. Trutnev conducted a series of pilot projects, recalled Mr. Kiriyenko. Russia's first ever fair of welfare projects and the first forum on regional development took place in the Perm region. Moreover, this region marked the beginning of the agglomeration process. Late last year, it was decided that the Perm region and the neighbouring Komi-Perm autonomy should be merged into one constituent entity.

    Mr. Kiriyenko approved of the idea to appoint regional leaders to federal positions. "This is a good idea. Strong governors must have an outlook for central government positions. There has been a lot of talk about limiting the terms of offices. However, there must also be prospects," said Mr. Kiriyenko.

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