Vladimir Putin has signed the orders on Russia's new cabinet, replacing three quarters of its members in what was promised to be a "powerful impulse from new people".
The signing came after several days of preparations that even kept the president from taking part in the G8 summit. Dmitry Medvedev, who went to Camp David instead, met with Putin after returning to Moscow.
"The government will be renewed by approximately three quarters. These are new people, who have appeared just recently or have not been government members before," the PM told the president.
Medvedev presented his government suggestions to Putin five days ago. Even though the premier promised major cabinet renewal and "a powerful impulse from new people", the names on the lists were not disclosed to media. Medvedev explained this by a desire "to maintain some intrigue". This aim was achieved, and for several days journalists were left guessing about the appointments. They eventually drew a comment from Medvedev's press secretary Natalya Timakova, who on Friday dismissed the bravest of all suggestions - that the new government could include former Finance Minister Aleksei Kudrin and billionaire-turned-politician Mikhail Prokhorov.
As the fresh appointments were announced it turned out that some government veterans retained their posts, first of all Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Finance Minister Anton Siluanov also remains at his post, as does Igor Shuvalov, first deputy prime minister in charge of economic policy. Justice Minister Aleksandr Konovalov also stays put.