President Boris Yeltsin named two young financial reformers to his Cabinet on Tuesday, demonstrating his twin desires to promote a new generation of leaders and revive Russia's struggling economy.
Last month, Yeltsin shocked the nation by naming the obscure, 35-year-old Sergei Kiriyenko as prime minister, and most criticism of the nominee centered around his youth and inexperience.The appointments Tuesday suggested Yeltsin remains intent on bringing new vitality to high-profile government posts. With that aim, he named former First Deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov, 38, and former Deputy Finance Minister Viktor Khristenko, 40, as deputy premiers.
At least seven ministers from the caretaker government will keep their portfolios, the president's press service said Tuesday. Most prominent among them are Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov, Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev and Finance Minister Mikhail Zadornov.
The appointments were announced after a meeting Tuesday evening between Yeltsin and Kiriyenko. After Parliament confirmed the prime minister on Friday, ending a monthlong battle of wills, Yeltsin gave him four days to come up with his Cabinet picks.
Yeltsin approved of most of Kiriyenko's candidates and gave the prime minister another day to finalize others, the ITAR-Tass news agency said.
No more appointments were expected to be announced until Thursday, ITAR-Tass reported.
Kiriyenko has not described his economic agenda in detail but has said he supports free-market policies.