MEDVEDEV AWAITING RESHUFFLES

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Rumors of another promotion for Sergei Ivanov

Senior Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov may soon be appointed prime minister; according to a source close to the presidential administration, it’s practically a settled matter. President Putin has been seen in public with Ivanov far more often than he’s been seen with Dmitri Medvedev.


Senior Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov may soon be appointed prime minister; according to a source close to the presidential administration, it’s practically a settled matter.

Two sources have told us of Ivanov’s impending promotion: an investment banker and a high-ranking Kremlin official. According to the latter, Ivanov’s status started rising from mid-summer, and many people are now betting on him: Ivanov is older and better-prepared for the office of prime minister than Dmitri Medvedev.

As of this summer, President Vladimir Putin has been seen in public with Ivanov far more often than he’s been seen with Medvedev. In late June, Putin and Ivanov went to Rostov-on-Don together: they inspected equipment used by the police force, tasted some local bread, and rode a combine harvester. In August, they attended a State Council meeting in Astrakhan and visited a sturgeon farm. Then they observed display flights at the MAKS 2007 air show. Putin and Ivanov made another public appearance at the City Day festivities in Moscow, and on September 5 they visited Kamchatka on September 5.

Medvedev’s sole public appearance in Putin’s company was at Moscow’s City Day celebrations.

This trend is also evident in the media: Putin and Ivanov appear in the same news items half again as often as Putin and Medvedev. According to the Medialogy agency’s monitoring results, the difference is particularly obvious on television: a ratio of 33:8 in Ivanov’s favor this August, and 42:26 in September.

According to a Cabinet source, Putin and Ivanov are expected to attend a major public event on September 21-22: the Kuban 2007 business forum in Sochi.

Yevgeny Gavrilenkov, chief economist at Troika Dialog, notes that Ivanov is far more noticeable than Medvedev these days; he is influencing policy in relation to establishing state corporations – nanotechnology, unified aircraft-building and ship-building conglomerates, and more.

According to another source close to the presidential administration, rumors of Ivanov’s promotion to prime minister may indicate that public opinion is being prepared for the idea that he will take one of the state’s top jobs – although the office of prime minister is only one possibile option.

Political analyst Dmitri Badovsky says that the rumors of Ivanov’s imminent appointment as prime minister are probably the result of apparat power-struggles over that post; Putin does not permit any leaks.

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