Russian PM to chair new Strategic Initiatives Agency

09:02, May 26, 2011      

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Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that from now on he would personally supervise the work of the Strategic Initiatives Agency, a newly created hi-tech supporting body.

Putin proposed earlier this month the establishment of the new body that was expected to serve as a mediator between businesses and financial institutions, selecting hi-tech projects from Russian regions and adopting them for federal programs.

At Wednesday's presentation of ASI, Putin said that the agency would focus on helping promising innovation companies, young professionals in business, and social welfare projects.

A source told the Interfax news agency that Putin's decision to chair the ASI has no connection with the upcoming general elections.

Rather, the ASI has been designed as Putin's link with medium businesses, and no other government minister was represented, the source said.

Putin himself denied that the ASI was launched to counterbalance the Skolkovo hi-tech cluster that was created on the initiative of President Dmitry Medvedev.

"Don't look for any political background. Skolkovo is a good, right, modern project," Putin said, "This (ASI) will do a different job, the nationwide networking. They will supplement each other."

Source: Xinhua
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