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Letter from Moscow: Changing of the guard

Five new technocrat ministers suggest the new PM has a refreshing focus on competence

The Russian government saw its second reshuffle of the year in early November, including veteran energy minister Alexander Novak relinquishing his post after eight years. Five new faces hail from either state companies involved in the industries they will now oversee or relevant government departments. While Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin is consolidating his power, he is also bringing together technocrats he believes can deliver on Russia’s ambitious domestic ­policy goals. A cornerstone of President Vladimir Putin’s 2018 re-election campaign was a $400bn state spending plan, covering investments in a range of areas from health and education to infrastructure. This National Projects prog



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