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Russian PM Putin Names New Cabinet


Russian President Dmitri Medvedev has approved Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's new Cabinet, which brings in some top allies from Mr. Putin's presidency and leaves other prominent ministries unchanged.

President Medvedev approved the list Monday.

Mr. Putin retained several close allies, including Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. He also kept Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov and Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin.

Mr. Medvedev and Mr. Putin, his mentor, have said they will rule Russia in a tandem arrangement. But many analysts say they believe Mr. Putin continues to hold the real power.

U.S. President George Bush telephoned both men on Monday.

White House spokeswoman, Dana Perino said President Bush and Mr. Medvedev underscored the desire of both sides to maintain good ties and work together on such issues as reducing tensions in Georgia. She said that in the phone call to Mr. Putin, President Bush wished the Russian leader well in his new duties.

Finance Minister Kudrin survived today's transition despite the arrest of his deputy, Sergei Storchak, last year on charges that he attempted to embezzle public funds. Storchak has not yet faced trial.

Mr. Putin also added eight new ministries today, including one for sport and tourism and one for ecology.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

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