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    ST. PETERSBURG MAYOR CALLS CABINET CHANGE A "TIMELY STEP"

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    ST. PETERSBURG, MARCH 10 (RIA NOVOSTI) - St. Petersburg Mayor Valentina Matviyenko believes that the change of the federal Cabinet of Ministers ahead of the March 14 presidential election is a timely step.

    "We know what elections are like, as well as what happens in their wake and how. We may have lost an able government for half a year. But now that the accents have all been placed, it will be possible to get down to work [without delay]," Ms. Matviyenko told the press on Wednesday. In her view, the Cabinet's restructuring is perfectly in tune with the times.

    That's not about some minor transformations, not about making the Cabinet attract the electorate; President [Vladimir Putin] has made really serious, fundamental changes, which are in tune with the times, she believes.

    The ministries' functions are now defined more clearly [than before], and will not be duplicated. The Cabinet will become more compact and mobile. The huge bureaucratic system, which could kill any meaningful undertaking in the bud, is gone, Ms. Matviyenko said.

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