Russian President Vladimir Putin accepted Wednesday a request from Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov to dismiss the government and form a new Cabinet.
The president thanked Fradkov for his service as prime minister, and asked him to stay on as acting premier until the lower house of parliament, the State Duma, votes in a new candidate.
Putin said: "The country is nearing parliamentary elections to be followed by presidential elections... We all need to think together about building the power and governing structure so that they can better meet the needs of the pre-election period, and prepare the country for the time after parliamentary and presidential elections in March 2008."
In submitting his request at a meeting with Putin, Fradkov said the government's dissolution was needed due to upcoming political events, and the need to give the president freedom in making decisions, including staffing changes.
Respected business daily Vedomosti on Wednesday cited a source close to the Kremlin as saying First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov would be appointed as the new premier, RIA-Novosti reports.