Vladimir Putin has proposed Mikhail Fradkov to become prime minister. The Russian president made the announcement during a meeting today with the parliamentary majority. He emphasized that the choice had been cleared with the deputies and that his main task had been to find a person 'of the highest professional qualifications, honorable, and experienced in a variety of governmental spheres.'
Fradkov was born on September 1, 1950, in Moscow. He graduated from Moscow's Machine-Building Institute in 1972 and from the Foreign Trade Academy in 1981. He has held a variety of posts in the area of foreign trade since 1973 and, in the early 1990s, represented Russia at GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade). From 1992 to 1997, he was deputy minister and then first deputy minister of foreign economic relations for the Russian Federation. In 1998-1999, he was chairman of the board and then general director of Ingostrakh. In 1999-2000, he was Russia's minister of trade. From May 2000 through March 2001, he was first deputy chairman of Russia's National Security Council. In March 2001, he became head of the newly created Federal Tax Police. He is married and has two children.