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Russian deputy PM steps down

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Russian deputy PM steps down
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Moscow: Russian deputy prime minister Vladislav Surkov has stepped down, the Kremlin said Wednesday, amid increasing tensions over the embattled Skolkovo innovation hub that has been targeted by law enforcement agencies.

"The president has accepted Surkov’s resignation, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Wednesday.

Surkov, long known as a powerful Kremlin ideologue, submitted his resignation Tuesday after President Vladimir Putin’s meeting with the Cabinet, at which Putin harshly criticised the ministers.

Peskov said that the president’s decision to accept his resignation is connected to the carrying out of decrees issued by Putin last May and to the work of the government commission responsible for that.

Surkov, considered to be one of the architects of the Kremlin-centric power vertical political system, was appointed by then-president Dmitry Medvedev as deputy prime minister in charge of modernisation in 2011.

His resignation comes amid a mounting crackdown by law enforcement agencies on the Skolkovo Foundation.

The investigations into fraud allegations at the high-tech hub prompted a rare public spat between Surkov and Investigative Committee spokesperson Vladimir Markin.

IANS

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