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Putin Shows Who’s The Boss As He Takes Command Of Kremlin

MOSCOW- Russian President Vladimir Putin named several trusted former cabinet ministers to Kremlin posts on Tuesday, asserting his authority in a move likely to weaken Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s new government and undermine its mandate for change.

Bluntly showing who is in charge, Putin issued a decree bringing prominent allies into his administration less than 24 hours after announcing their replacements in a new cabinet that Medvedev has championed as an overhauled engine for reform.

One of Putin’s closest associates, Igor Sechin, landed a job as head of Russia’s largest oil company, Rosneft.

The appointments signal that Putin, back in the Kremlin for a six-year term after swapping jobs with his protege and placeholder two weeks ago, will use the levers of Russia’s presidency to control economic and security policy.

They further tip the balance of power in Russia’s ruling “tandem” away from Medvedev, the younger, more liberal ally Putin steered into the Kremlin in 2008 when he faced a bar on a third term after eight years as president.

“The President’s administration will become the centre of decision-making,” said Yevgeny Minchenko, director of the International Institute of Political Analysis, a Moscow think tank.

Putin brought seven members of his former cabinet into the Kremlin, including former Economy Minister Elvira Nabiullina, ex-Health Minister Tatyana Golikova, former Natural Resources Minister Yuri Trutnev and ex-Transport Minister Igor Levitin.

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