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Putin appoints ex-security chief as aide for shipbuilding

Russia hails 'record' win for Putin in vote with no opposition
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Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday appointed his long-serving national security council secretary as a presidential aide responsible for shipbuilding in an apparent demotion as the head of state reshuffles his military leadership.

Nikolai Patrushev, 72, a shadowy but influential figure and key Putin ally, served for 16 years as secretary of the national security council, a body of top officials who meet with Putin to discuss national security matters.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov acknowledged that Patrushev’s new role in charge of shipbuilding was work “of a different nature.”

“But this is an absolutely strategic sector — huge, very complex,” he added during a briefing with reporters.

“Nikolai Platonovich’s huge experience will definitely play a big role,” the spokesman added, using Patrushev’s patronymic.

The appointment came after Putin on Sunday removed defence minister Sergei Shoigu in a major shake-up to Russia’s military leadership after his March re-election.

Putin made Shoigu secretary of the security council, replacing Patrushev, raising speculation on his future.

Patrushev was formerly head of the national security agency, the FSB, replacing Putin in the position. He was appointed head of the security council in 2008.

His son Dmitry, 46, formerly agriculture minister, has been promoted to deputy prime minister.

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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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