President Boris Yeltsin yesterday brought the reformist governor of Nizhny Novgorod, Boris Nemtsov, into the new government as first deputy prime minister. Nemtsov, 37, will handle social welfare policy, reorganization of the so-called natural monopolies (gas, electricity, and railways), and center-regional relations. He will be equal in rank with Anatoly Chubais, 41, who is to assume the post of finance minister and take responsibility for the day-to-day management of the government. Six new deputy premiers were also appointed yesterday, and the first outlines of the promised governmental reorganization were revealed.
Nemtsov’s appointment met with general approval and is seen as boosting the new government’s reformist credentials. One of Russia’s first popularly elected governors, he has been governor of Nizhny Novgorod oblast since 1991. The privatization and land reforms he oversaw there were widely praised for their efficiency and rationality (and were conducted in close collaboration with Grigory Yavlinsky and his Epicenter team). Nemtsov’s approach has attracted substantial foreign investment and the region has been used for a variety of pilot projects with the World Bank and other international institutions on privatization and enterprise reforms. (Itar-Tass, Reuters, March 17)
The six deputy prime ministers appointed yesterday are: Vladimir Bulk, 55, who has been Russian communications minister since November 1991 and is now being promoted; Alfred Kokh, 35, a close Chubais-associate who will remain in the post of chairman of the State Property Committee that he has held since last year; Anatoly Kulikov, 49, Russia’s tough-minded and outspoken interior minister, who remains in that post; Valery Serov, 56, who has been deputy premier since last year with responsibility for CIS affairs; Oleg Sysuyev, 43, who is to take charge of housing and municipal services and who has been mayor of the city of Samara since 1991; Yakov Urinson, 52, who will also act as minister of economics having previously been deputy minister.
The incumbent ministers of defense, security and foreign affairs are understood to be keeping their jobs. (Interfax, Itar-Tass, NTV, March 17)
Some Sectoral Ministries to be Dissolved.