Former Russian prime minister Sergei Kiriyenko has been appointed head of the Federal Agency for Nuclear Power (Rosatom), replacing Alexander Rumyantsev. Rosatom controls the country's nuclear production and research facilities, the development, testing and production of nuclear weapons and the elimination of nuclear warheads and munitions.
Until the change – part of President Vladimir Putin's cabinet reshuffle – Kiriyenko served as presidential envoy to the Volga Federal District. He has held a series of senior government positions, including that of fuel and energy minister in 1997-8 and prime minister from April 1998 to August 1998 under President Boris Yeltsin. He is also chairman of the state commission on chemical disarmament, a member of the Security Council and the presidential council, which oversees priority national projects.
Sergei Naryshkin, a senior official, told the press: "The order to appoint Kiriyenko to his new post was signed by prime minister Mikhail Fradkov."
An official close to Kiriyenko said he was honoured by the appointment because "the nuclear sector is the core of national security and makes the country a respected power" and that holding Putin's personal confidence means a lot to Kiriyenko.
It is expected that Rumyantsev will be appointed to another senior position, possibly an ambassadorial role.
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