MOSCOW -- Most leading reformers in the Cabinet of outgoing Prime Minister Yegor Gaidar will remain in the government under his newly appointed conservative successor Viktor Chernomyrdin.
The new-look Cabinet announced Wednesday is almost a carbon copy of the liberal government Gaidar led during the first stage of Russia's fast dash to a market economy.
Chernomyrdin kept on almost all the key players in the Gaidar team: Anatoly Chubais, 37, the mastermind of Russia's privatization campaign; Andrei Nechayev, the economics minister, and Alexander Shokhin, 41, in charge of foreign trade and Russia's dealings with international finance institutions.
Finance Minister Vasily Barchuk, 51, a strict monetarist who has been trying to reduce the gaping budget deficit, also remains a member of the Cabinet.
But Chernomyrdin, 54, brought in some new men who might help mend fences with Parliament after months of paralyzing confrontation between the legislative and executive branches that took Russia to the brink of a constitutional crisis.
The decree creating the new government, signed by President Boris Yeltsin after four days of intense consultations with Chernomyrdin, names two new deputy prime ministers who join the six already in the Cabinet.
One is Yuri Yarov, Parliament's deputy chairman. An ally of Parliament Speaker Ruslan Khasbulatov, Yarov may improve relations between ministers and lawmakers, which reached breaking point at this month's Congress of People's Deputies, when legislators forced Yeltsin to drop Gaidar.
The appointment of Khasbulatov's deputy continues a tradition in Russian politics. Former Deputy Chairman of Parliament Vladimir Shumeiko, 47, was drafted into the Cabinet last summer in a similar attempt to reduce simmering tensions between the Yeltsin administration and the conservative-dominated Parliament.
The second new deputy prime minister is Boris Fyodorov, a former Soviet-era Russian finance minister, currently Russia's representative at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Fyodorov will oversee economic and finance policy.
Five out of the six deputy premiers under Gaidar retain their posts: Boris Saltykov, 52, science minister; Anatoly Chubais; Georgy Khizha, 54, the industry minister; Vladimir Shumeiko; Alexander Shokhin; and Sergei Shakhrai, who is in charge of nationalities policy.
Deputy Premier Valery Makharadze, 52, who was responsible for Moscow's often delicate relations with the regions, was jettisoned.
The only Cabinet member to resign, Foreign Trade Minister Pyotr Aven, will be replaced by his deputy Sergei Glazyev, like his old boss a young reformer committed to liberalizing trade and making the ruble a convertible currency.
Mikhail Fedotov, head of the Russian Agency of Intellectual Property, was appointed the new information and press minister, replacing Mikhail Poltoranin who was sacked by Yeltsin on the eve of this month's Congress.
An outstanding lawyer, Fedotov is renowned for representing Yeltsin in the six-month long trial of the Communist Party at Russia's Constitutional Court.
Sergei Shakhrai, 36, a close Yeltsin legal aide who was recently head of the Russian provisional administration in the troubled southern region of Ossetia and Ingushetia, will now be in charge of relations between Russia's regions.
Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev, 41, also remains in the Cabinet although his fate is still in question. Under a new government law passed this week legislators must approve his nomination and the liberal, pro-Western Kozyrev is unlikely to be voted through by Russia's conservative-dominated Parliament.
However, Shakhrai told journalists Wednesday the law was not yet in force and so could not be applied retroactively to Kozyrev's appointment.
Other Cabinet members to keep their portfolios include Defense Minister Pavel Grachev, 44; Interior Minister Victor Yerin; and Victor Barannikov, head of the Security Ministry. All three ministers would also require confirmation by parliament under the provisions of the new law.
Social Protection Minister Ella Panfilova, who resigned from her post Monday, was persuaded by Yeltsin to stay on in the Cabinet. Justice Minister Nikolai Fyodorov and Agriculture Minister Victor Khlystun also stay in place.