MOSCOW, - President Vladimir Putin named loyal allies to top posts in Russia's new government on Monday, taking a firm grip on economic policy and limiting Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev's ability to push a reform agenda.
Finance Minister Anton Siluanov remains and pro-Putin economist Andrei Belousov takes over as economy minister, while Igor Shuvalov keeps his post as first deputy prime minister in overall charge of economic policy.
Medvedev had promised substantial change in the cabinet after trading jobs with Putin, who began a six-year presidential term on May 7, but Shuvalov is one of five deputy prime ministers who will stay in place.
Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov and longtime Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also keep their jobs.
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