Putin names deputy finance minister Oreshkin Russia's new economy minister

Reuters News
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Posted: Nov 30, 2016 8:39 AM

By Andrey Ostroukh and Olga Popova

MOSCOW (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin named deputy finance minister Maxim Oreshkin as Russia's new economy minister on Wednesday, two weeks after the post's previous holder was detained and accused of bribery.

Alexei Ulyukayev, the ex-economy minister, was accused of trying to extort a bribe from Russian oil major Rosneft, an allegation he denies. He is currently under house arrest.

Oreshkin, his 34-year-old replacement, joined the finance ministry in 2013 as the head of the strategic planning department and became a deputy finance minister in March 2015.

Upon appointment, Oreshkin told Putin that his main task for 2017 was finding measures that would boost economic growth in Russia.

"Oreshkin is a great expert in macroeconomics. I don't know anyone on the market who would be better than him in macroeconomics," Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said on Wednesday, commenting on his deputy's appointment. Oreshkin belongs to a group of young economists who joined the government in the past few years. He started his carrier as economist at the central bank in 2002. In 2006 he joined Rosbank, a Russian branch of Societe Generale, before moving on to Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank. In 2012 Oreshkin joined VTB Capital, an investment arm of Russia's second largest lender VTB. In the past few years, VTB Capital has served as a minting factory for finance ministry experts: another deputy minister Alexei Moiseev and the head of strategic planning department Vladimir Kolychev both worked for the bank before becoming government officials.

Siluanov said on Wednesday he hoped that the appointment of his former deputy would help speed up cooperation between the two ministries, which often clash as the economy ministry calling for more growth, which includes spending, while the finance ministry seeks to keep the budget deficit narrow.

"The key is to have common ideas, plans, policy. There always will be some debates ... But I think that now we will be finding common solutions faster and more easily," Siluanov told reporters.

(Writing by Katya Golubkova; Editing by Jeremy Gaunt)