PM Putin blasts "clumsy" government

Vladimir Putin is changing the way the government does business in an effort to make it more efficient. In a scathing attack on the current system, the new Prime Minister said Russia’s executive body was “clumsy and over-bureaucratic”.

Putin is proposing to streamline decision-making by holding weekly meetings with 15 key ministers. This inner cabinet, chaired by Putin, will set the future direction of government policy.

Included in the core group will be First Deputy Prime Ministers Viktor Zubkov and Igor Shuvalov. Putin's five deputy prime ministers will also take part, as will the ministers for economic development, foreign affairs, internal affairs, public health and social development. Rounding up the list are the ministers for defence, agriculture and regional development.

Putin says the new body will meet once a week, while full meetings with the government will be held once a month.