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New Russian government: policy for austerity is gaining momentum

A report that Anton Siluanov is to become Russia’s First Deputy Prime Minister while “maintaining his opportunities within the Finance Ministry” can mean that the policy for austerity is gaining momentum, senior analyst at the Agency for Political and Economic Communications Mikhail Neyzhmakov has told EADaily.

According to the expert, this may worry the governors for whom this official is a man who supports the idea of cutdown of regional budgets expenditures.

However, Neyzhmakov says, there must be a counterbalance to such policy. “Let me remind that, for instance, that the decree signed by the president right after the inauguration that deals with the national goals and strategic tasks of development of Russia up to 2024 contains a lot of tasks in the social sphere. We need to wait till the reshuffle in the government and the presidential administration is over. As usually, it is also important how the management of governmental commissions will be distributed between the deputy prime ministers,” he notes.

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Taking into account a strong focus upon implementation of infrastructure projects in Russian regions, deputy prime ministers in charge of construction and transports (supposedly, they will be Vitaly Mutko and Maxim Akimov) can have a significant influence, Neyzhmakov believes.

“It is an interesting question (for the regional elites as well) who will replace Tatyana Golikova and Konstantin Chuychenko at the Audit Chamber and the President’s Revision Department respectively. The choice of the candidates to the posts can be seen as another marker: how tough the federal center will be in controlling financial flows. Well, the recent trends confirm that the Kremlin is oriented towards increasing anti-corruption activities in the regions,” the expert states.

On May 7, President Vladimir Putin nominated Dmitry Medvedev to the post of prime minister whose candidature is being discussed today at the State Duma. After Dmitry Medvedev is approved as prime minister, new government is to be formed.

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