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Putin Names Duma Speaker As New Spy Boss

September 22, 2016

Russian President Vladimir Putin has decided to appoint former parliament speaker Sergei Naryshkin as the chief of the country's foreign intelligence agency (SVR).

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on September 22 that Putin had asked Naryshkin at a meeting along with current SVR Director Mikhail Fradkov if he would take over the agency and that he had agreed.

"You are well aware, as we all are, what situation we are in now and how important success for this service is for the stable, secure development of our country," Putin told Naryshkin in televised comments.

"It is important to promptly head off threats that arise in relation to Russia, not to let them grow but on the contrary to act in such a way so that they don't arise -- to neutralize these threats at an early stage," Putin continued.

Naryshkin, 61, is a longtime supporter of Putin who also hails, like the president, from St. Petersburg.

Media reports say he previously worked abroad for the KGB before becoming a lawmaker. He was posted at the Soviet Embassy in Brussels in the 1980s.

Fradkov is a former prime minister who has led the SVR since 2007. He will reportedly become the chairman of the board of the state-run Russian Railways.

Based on reporting by AFP and Interfax

Source: http://www.rferl.org/content/russia- putin-naryshkin-svr/28007297.html

Copyright (c) 2016. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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