Putin Rewards Former Ministers With Adviser Posts

President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday appointed a string of former ministers as his advisers, a day after unveiling his new government made up largely of long-time loyalists.

Former Health Minister Tatyana Golikova, former Education Minister Sergei Fursenko, former Economy Minister Elvira Nabiullina, former Communications and Media Minister Igor Shchegolev, former Natural Resources Minister Yury Trutnev, and former Transport Minister Igor Levitin were made presidential aides following an executive decree signed by Putin. Former government deputy chief of staff Yury Ushakov was also made an aide. 

Presidential advisors Larisa Brycheva and Konstantin Chuichenko retained their posts. Sergei Prikhodko, former President Dmitry Medvedev’s top foreign policy aide, lost his job.

Medvedev shifted to the post of prime minister after four years in the Kremlin earlier this month. 

Putin’s long-serving press secretary Dmitry Peskov was granted the additional position of deputy Kremlin chief of staff.

Putin ally and former Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov kept his job as chief of the presidential administration, with Vyacheslav Volodin and Putin’s former spokesman Alexei Gromov as his deputies.

Security Council Secretary General Nikolai Patrushev also retained his post. Unpopular ex-Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev was appointed his deputy after losing his job on Monday. He has had the difficult job of reforming Russia’s police force, which has been tarnished by a string of death in custody scandals.

But another ally, former deputy prime minister Igor Sechin, was not given a post in the new administation. However, he is set to maintain influence over energy policy after Putin nominated him to the board of the main state energy holding company on his last day as prime minister.

“Sechin’s non-inclusion in the government to avoid possible tensions with [Dmitry] Medvedev or [first deputy prime minister Igor] Shuvalov, for example, does not indicate any change of balance within Putin’s team,” said analyst Lilia Shevtsova at the Carnegie Moscow Center think-tank. “He will remain a powerful player, and his position on the chessboard will not affect his influence.”

Putin’s appointment spree is not “significant,” she added, as it does “not change Putin’s policies, which are aimed at maintaining the status quo.”

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