Former premier is Russia’s foreign intelligence chief

By RIA Novosti

Dushanbe (Tajikistan) : Former prime minister Mikhail Fradkov has been appointed the head of the Russian foreign intelligence service, President Vladimir Putin has said.

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Fradkov will replace Sergei Lebedev, who occupied the post since 2000 and was selected Friday to head the Executive Committee of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), a loose union of former Soviet republics.

“You all know well the man, who will head the Russian foreign intelligence service – this is Mikhail Fradkov,” said Putin, who is currently on a visit to Tajikistan.

President Putin relieved Fradkov as the country’s prime minister on Sep 12 upon his own request.

The president also said that Grigory Rapota, 63, a former secretary general of the Eurasian Economic Community (Eurasec) organization, would be appointed presidential envoy to the southern federal district.

“Grigory Rapota worked well and effectively and we have reached positive results in Eurasec largely due to his efforts,” Putin said.

Eurasec is an international economic organization, consisting of Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Tajikistan. Armenia, Moldova, and Ukraine have an observer status.

Rapota will take the post held previously by current Minister of Regional Development Dmitry Kozak.

Kozak was appointed the minister in a major cabinet reshuffle, which came 12 days after the resignation of Fradkov.