Russia's Putin switches economy minister to the Kremlin

MOSCOW Mon Jun 24, 2013 3:28am EDT

Russia's economic development minister Andrey Belousov speaks during Sberbank session at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, June 20, 2013. REUTERS/Alexander Demianchuk

Russia's economic development minister Andrey Belousov speaks during Sberbank session at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, June 20, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Alexander Demianchuk

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MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin appointed Andrei Belousov as his top economic adviser on Monday, beefing up his Kremlin staff with an advocate of a big state role in the economy as part of a wider rotation of his policy team.

As economy minister, Belousov came under fire from Russia's liberal policy establishment by calling for the state to determine bank lending rates, which he argues would unblock the flow of affordable credit to the economy.

Belousov will be replaced by Alexei Ulyukayev, who is moving from the central bank after being beaten to the top job there by Elvira Nabiullina, who formally assumed her role on Monday after a year as the Kremlin's 'chief economist'.

The job moves, which had been flagged in advance, set the scene for a shift towards a more activist approach to managing Russia's economy as policymakers seek to engineer a recovery at a time of still-high inflation.

"This is all being done to embark on a dynamic stimulus of economic growth," said Julia Tsepliaeva, a Russia economist at BNP Paribas in Moscow.

(Reporting by Maya Dyakina; Writing by Douglas Busvine; Editing by John Stonestreet)

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