Putin names new Cabinet as key members of Russian govt stay

Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and New Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin attend a Security Council meeting at the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow in Moscow, Russia, Monday, Jan. 20, 2020. (Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)
Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and New Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin attend a Security Council meeting at the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow in Moscow, Russia, Monday, Jan. 20, 2020. (Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

MOSCOW – Russian President Vladimir Putin formed his new Cabinet Tuesday, replacing many of its members but keeping his foreign, defense and finance ministers in place.

The Cabinet shake-up comes as Putin has launched a sweeping constitutional reform that is widely seen as an attempt to secure his grip on power well after his current term ends in 2024.

Immediately after announcing the proposed changes last week, Putin fired Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, who had the job for eight years, and named tax chief Mikhail Mishustin to succeed him.

On Tuesday, Putin issued a decree outlining the structure of the new Cabinet and named its members. He appointed his economic adviser Andrei Belousov as first deputy prime minister and named eight deputy prime ministers, including some new names, such as Dmitry Chernyshenko who was the head of the organizing committee for the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Finance Minister Anton Siluanov have retained their jobs. Siluanov, however, was stripped of his additional role of first deputy prime minister, which he had in the old Cabinet.

Other leading figures in the previous Cabinet, including Energy Minister Alexander Novak, Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov, Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev and Emergencies Minister Yevgeny Zinichev, also stayed.

Medvedev's longtime associate, Alexander Konovalov, lost the job of justice minister, and Konstantin Chuikchenko, who was chief of staff in the old Cabinet, was moved to succeed him.

Others who lost their jobs include Economics Minister Maxim Oreshkin, Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov, Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova and Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky.