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13 May, 2008 15:47

PM Putin gets down to business

Vladimir Putin is on his first working visit to St Petersburg since becoming Prime Minister last week. Putin set off for his home town following the appointment of his new cabinet on Monday.

The new Russian cabinet was approved by President Dmitry Medvedev just hours before Putin’s flight to St. Petersburg.

President Medvedev said they had two months to work on the changes.

“We had plenty of time to consider both the structure of the cabinet and individual appointments,” Medvedev said.

Putin said he’s changed two thirds of the government structure. Some of the ex-president’s men are switching from the Kremlin to higher positions in the White House.

Putin out to boost shipbuilding

While in his hometown, PM Putin chaired a conference on the development of the Russian shipbuilding industry.

Putin said that along with aviation, shipbuilding needs to become one of the driving forces of hi-tech sector growth in Russia's economy.

Commercial shipbuilding in Russia is barely afloat at the moment. Local manufacturers have been losing out not only on the international market, but also domestically.

Commanding attention

Analysts say that although Putin's new role is already starting to have an effect, he is unlikely to stop using funny sayings and catchy phrases, of which he apparently has no shortage.

With eight years of power behind him, Putin is certainly used to commanding attention. And that’s something he is set to bring to his role as Prime Minister.