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Putin economy reshuffle to strengthen Kremlin

President Vladimir Putin will appoint Economy Minister Andrei Belousov as his chief economic adviser, in a reshuffle that will tighten the Kremlin's control over the management of Russia's $2 trillion economy, sources said on Friday. Belousov will move to the coveted position as the Kremlin's "chief economist" in a reshuffle that follows the appointment of Elvira Nabiullina to run the central bank from next month. The central bank's first deputy chairman, Alexei Ulyukayev, may leave his post to become economy minister and be replaced by Russia's Group of 20 summit coordinator Ksenia Yudayeva, sources close to the bank and the government told Reuters. "He (Ulyukayev) is a very likely candidate," one of the sources said, confirming a report in the Kommersant daily. Ulyukayev had been a leading candidate to take over from the outgoing central bank chairman, Sergei Ignatyev, but his hawkish views on inflation were out of tune with Putin's desire for the central bank to do more to boost flagging economic growth.

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