Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 221

Russian president Boris Yeltsin met yesterday with newly appointed finance minister Mikhail Zadornov. (RTR, November 24) Zadornov, 34, is a respected economist and member of the Duma. Until he joined the government last week, he belonged to the Yabloko faction, the bloc of 46 deputies led by Grigory Yavlinsky. Yavlinsky has consistently opposed the government’s reforms as inadequate and rejected offers of cabinet posts for members of his team. Zadornov was therefore obliged to give up his Yabloko membership when he joined the government last week and may join "Russia is Our Home" instead. He was the only member of the Yabloko faction to win a parliamentary seat on his own merits in a single-member constituency, rather than being elected on the Yabloko list.

Meanwhile, Zadornov has begun to form his team. He has reportedly invited the administrative head of the Duma’s budget committee, Mikhail Motorin, to move to the Finance Ministry as Deputy Finance Minister in charge of tax policy. This post has until now been filled by Sergei Shatalov, the main architect of the tax code. Also reported in the works is the replacement, on Zadornov’s orders, of the current head of the Main Federal Treasury Department, Aleksandr Smirnov, by Tatyana Nesterenko, currently a member of the Duma’s budget committee and of the Russian Regions group. Zadornov’s own former post as chairman of the Duma’s budget committee has gone to Aleksandr Zhukov.

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