President Putin Makes New Appointments

Ilya Klebanov, former vice prime minister, became the presidential envoy in Russia's North-West

On November 1st, President Vladimir Putin appointed Ilya Klebanov for the position of the presidential envoy in the North-Western administrative district of Russia. Ilya Klebanov has become the third envoy in the mentioned district over the current year. Vice Prime Minister Valentina Matviyenko replaced Viktor Cherkesov on the position, but when she was elected the St.Petersburg governor, the post remained vacant again. Matviyenko was temporarily replaced by her first deputy, leader of United Russia's department in St.Petersburg, Alexander Beglov.

Putin did not rush to appoint the new envoy in the North-West. He was carefully studying the candidates: Audit Chamber head Sergey Stepashin, deputy chairman of the presidential administration Dmitry Kozak, Minister for Economic Development and Trade German Gref, State Duma speaker Gennady Seleznyov and many others. Yet, Andrey Chernenko, chairman of the Federal Migration Service of the Russian Interior Ministry was considered to be the main candidate for the post.

The Gazeta newspaper wrote, Valentina Matviyenko had suggested Andrey Chernenko's candidacy too. However, Ilya Klebanov has been appointed instead. Probably, the new appointment has been lobbied by Dmitry Kozak, first deputy chairman of the presidential administration (Dmitry Kozak often plays tennis with Ilya Klebanov). Kozak is a favorite at present time: he obtained his current high-ranking post after he had made the Duma accept the Kremlin's variant of the reform to distinguish authorities between the levels of power. One will not see the fruits of the reform for a long time, but it was not the goal of Putin's administration. There are certain levels to exert influence on regions, particularly on governors, who can be dismissed according to the new law now.

Dmitry Badovsky, expert of the Institute of Social Systems, believes the new appointment has become an "exile of honor" for Ilya Klebanov. "For Mr. Klebanov it is a certain way out of the situation which has been forming around him for long already. Ilya Klebanov has been losing his posts in the government recently." 

Ilya Klebanov was aware of that. He was looking for a way out of the situation. The official decided to run for the Duma on United Russia's party list. Until recently, he has been listed as number two on the party's regional list of the Udmurtia republic, the Kirov region, the Perm region and the Komi-Petmyatsky autonomous region. Alexander Volkov, Udmurtia's President is the first person on the above-mentioned list. The third place is taken by Alexander Strelnikov - chairman of the Kirov region Legislative Assembly (he is currently running for the governor of the Kirov region).

Ilya Iosifovich Klebanov. Born on May 7th, 1951 in Leningrad. Graduated from the Leningrad Polytechnic School in 1974. In 1974-1977: engineer of the industrial association Elektron. From 1977-1997 he worked at the Leningrad Optical-Mechanical Association and became the general director of the factory. In December of 1997 he was appointed for the post of the first vice governor of St.Petersburg - the chairman of the committee for economy and the industrial policy. On May 30th 1998 Klebanov became Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian government. On October 17th 2001 he took the position of the Minister for Industry, Science and Technology.

Author`s name Olga Savka