Putin Revises Fiscal Monitoring Service, Vows to Fight Corruption

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree revising the structure of federal executive bodies, RIA-Novosti quoted a presidential spokesman as saying Tuesday.

The move comes as part of a highly-publicized campaign by the president to fight against corruption.

According to the decree, the Federal Financial Monitoring Service (Rosfinmonitoring), a former subdivision of the Finance Ministry, will now answer to the Russian government.

The state-run agency is aimed at countering money-laundering and the financing of terrorism.

Created by a decree in November, 2001, the Federal Financial Monitoring Service was headed for the first six years of its existence by Viktor Zubkov, Russia's newly elected prime minister.

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Monday Russia's new Cabinet, including new ministers of health, economics, and regional development.

The government reshuffle comes 12 days after President Putin fired the government, and 10 days after his appointment of previously little-known financial regulator Viktor Zubkov as prime minister, in place of Mikhail Fradkov.

In the new Cabinet, First Deputy Prime Ministers Dmitry Medvedev and Sergei Ivanov have retained their posts. Both are widely viewed as likely presidential contenders in the March 2008 elections.

Tatyana Golikova, formerly deputy finance minister, has been appointed health and social development minister, in place of Mikhail Zurabov. The new minister is the wife of re-appointed Industry and Energy Minister Viktor Khristenko.

Another family connection within the Cabinet - Serdyukov's marriage to the new prime minister's daughter - earlier prompted the defense minister to offer his resignation to the president, but Putin kept him at the post.

Two new committees have appeared within the government structure - a state committee for youth affairs, and a state fisheries committee. The president said certain functions of the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade had been clarified.

Addressing the new government, President Putin said: "We should not only continue consistent work, but also actively push our strategic plans through. At the same time, there must be a methodical approach to clearly resolving the daily problems of Russian citizens."

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