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Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 February, 2004, 15:34 GMT
Full text: Putin dismisses government
Russian President Vladimir Putin with the decree dismissing the government
Mr Putin is to name a new head of government

Esteemed citizens of Russia, in accordance with Article 117 of the Russian Constitution, I have taken a decision to dismiss the government.

This decision is not related to an assessment of the results of the activities of the former composition of the government, which on the whole I consider to be satisfactory.

It has been dictated by a desire to once again set out my stance on the issue of what the course for the country's development will be after 14 March 2004 [the date of the presidential election].

I think Russia's citizens have the right to and should know the proposals for the composition of the supreme executive body of the state if I am elected president of Russia.

The progress of all state and socioeconomic reforms depend to the most vital extent precisely on the government.

Therefore, I consider it right to announce right now, without waiting for the end of the election campaign, the composition of the supreme executive body of state authority, which will have to assume its part of the responsibility for the further development of our country.

The timely formation of the government will make it possible to avoid uncertainty in the structures of federal executive authority and consequently to support the state apparatus's ability to work and preserve the speed set for reforms, including within the framework of administrative reform that has begun.

In accordance with Article 111 of the Russian Constitution, I intend to submit to the State Duma the candidacy of the chairman of the Russian government [i.e., the prime minister] within the set time.

Within a week of being appointed, the chairman of the government will have to present me with proposals for a new structure of the federal bodies of executive authority.

At the same time, I instruct the current composition of the government to continue to carry out its obligations until a new government of the Russian Federation is formed.

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