New model of Russian government has been introduced.
17 Ministers have been appointed, instead of the 30 Ministers the last Russian Cabinet had. Many key Ministers of the former Cabinet (Ministers of Defense, Finance, Economic Development, Agriculture, Emergency Situations) preserved their posts.
There is new Foreign Minister in the Cabinet – Sergey Lavrov, former envoy of Russia in the UN.
Alexander Zhukov, previously the Head of Budget Committee and Deputy Chairman of the State Duma, has been appointed to the only post of Deputy Prime Minister in the new Cabinet.
Rashid Nurgaliev, Interim Interior Minister, Head of Russian Criminal Police, has been appointed Interior Minister.
Governor of Perm region Yury Trutnev appointed Minister of Natural Resources.
The new structure of the government resulted from the administrative reform concept elaborated by former Deputy Prime Ministers Shuvalov and Aleshin.
The issue of the nature of the administrative reform is very important. There are some reasons for President Putin to implement some strategic changes within Russian authorities.
No doubt – Russian authorities have preserved the structure of the Soviet government. Regional and central government institutions just changed their names, not the structure. Meanwhile, Russian society has undergone radical changes in recent years.
At the same time, variety of new state institutions have been established – Committees on Property, Tax Inspections, Treasuries, Anti-Monopoly Committees and others.
The President has decided to put the chaotic institutions of the country being in transition, in order. Vladimitr Putin calls for modernizing the country. Vladimir Putin devoted his first presidential term to maintaining stabilization and constructing the vertical line of power. If elected President for the second term, Vladimir Putin will concentrate on some quality changes and setting up the complex mechanism of the government.
The main task is to adjust the state apparatus to the needs of market economy with auxiliary purposes of reducing the number of state officials and making the rest of them work more efficiently.
Until recently, the key difference between the structure of the government in Russia and in foreign countries was the enormous number of deputies for Prime Minister in Russian government. Foreign governments have only one Deputy Prime Minister, if any, and this post bears no special status.
The tradition of having many Deputies for Prime Minister originated from Soviet times. In Soviet period, there were plenty of Ministries for different industries – Ministry on machine-building, electronics and so on. One Prime Minister was unable to control all this. Meanwhile, under market economy the authorities of officials for controlling economy are limited, and there is no need of many supervising officials.
In the West the minister is an authoritative figure and he/she reports directly to Prime Minister. In the West the President cannot criticize Ministers like school teacher does to his/her students. Meanwhile, similar practice will be abolished in Russia. There will be no ministers-politicians. They will be just officials doing technical job.
The number of Ministries and Departments and officials is too big even for such a developing country with weak economy, like Russia.