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    REIMAN REMAINS IN THE GOVERNMENT

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    MOSCOW, March 15 (RIA Novosti) - President Vladimir Putin told journalists at his election headquarters that he had to persuade Leonid Reiman to continue working in the Government.

    Putin did not agree with a journalist's opinion that only "old people" remained in the Government.

    "Why? We appointed many new ministers, for instance the new natural resources minister [Yuri Trutnev is the former governor of the Perm region, Urals region]," Mr. Putin said.

    "But we had to persuade some ministers to stay," reported the president.

    "The prime minister and I persuaded Communications Minister Leonid Reiman to continue working in the Government, though he had offers to leave and work in business. We asked him to stay because the Government needs professionals."

    Mr. Reiman was appointed the first deputy minister of transportation and communications.

    Mr. Putin also said that new people are in the Government. "Trutnev arrived from the Perm region. Igor Levitin, who came from business, was appointed the minister of transportation and communications. Mikhail Zurabov, who was chairman of the Pension Fund, became a minister of a major structure that united the entire social sphere, and so on. Other new people can show themselves differently at their new responsibility levels."

    He said that former Culture Minister Mikhail Shvydkoi was appointed head of the Federal Culture and Cinematography Agency.

    Speaking about the head of the Federal Press Agency, Mr. Putin pointed out that Mikhail Lesin, the former minister of the press, had not been appointed to this post yet.

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