Vladimir Putin: Decision to dismiss Cabinet is not due to underachievement

'The Cabinet is not being dismissed for underachieving. In fact I'm quite satisfied generally with the work it has done. This change is coming with the intention of redefining our course for national development after March 14, 2004,' Russian President Vladimir Putin announced in a live, televised announcement where he spoke of the dismissal of Russian premier Mikhail Kasyanov. 'I believe Russian citizens have the right to know my proposals for appointing a new Cabinet if I am re-elected.' He said 'the progress of all socio-economic reform depends to a large extent on the Cabinet.'

'Therefore I believe it is right to announce the make-up of the next Cabinet now without waiting for the elections as the Cabinet will be responsible for the further development of the country. If the new government is formed quickly it will help us to avoid any uncertainty in the federal government and maintain the current speed of reform,' he said.

'Within a week of his appointment the new prime minister will have to present me with proposals on the new structure of the federal government. I have also asked the current Cabinet to remain in place until a new Cabinet has been formed,' the president said.

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