Vladimir Putin 'relieves chief of staff of his duties'

Vladimir Putin 'relieves chief of staff of his duties'

Russian President Vladimir Putin has fired Sergei Ivanov, his chief of staff and once one of his closest allies, in the most high-profile power reshuffle at the Kremlin in years.

The Kremlin press office issued the order to "relieve Sergei Ivanov of his duties".

The stern statement was followed by footage of a meeting of Mr Putin, Mr Ivanov and the new chief of staff, Anton Vayno.

Despite the clear appearance that Mr Ivanov had been forced out, the president insisted he was making the move at his one-time ally's request because he had been too long in the job.

"I'm happy with how you handle tasks in your line of work," Mr Putin said.

"I remember well our agreement that you had asked me not to keep you as chief of the presidential administration for more than four years and that is why I understand your desire to choose another line of work."

Former KGB officer Mr Ivanov, a former defence minister and deputy prime minister, had been seen as one of Mr Putin's closest allies. He was considered a likely successor to Mr Putin before the leader chose Dmitry Medvedev to run for president in 2008 when he was unable to stand himself due to term limitations.

In a symbolic gesture, Mr Putin appointed Mr Ivanov a special envoy for transportation and environment, seen as a downgrade for the man who had been considered one of the most influential in Russia.

In a subtle hint to the fact that his political career is over, the 63-year-old thanked Mr Putin in televised remarks for his "high assessment of my work during the past 17 years".

Mr Ivanov was also taken off the Security Council, Russia's main security body which includes Mr Putin, chairmen of the parliament and chiefs of security services.

Mr Vayno, 44, has worked in Mr Putin's protocol department and was recently Mr Ivanov's deputy.

More on this topic

Russia’s military to carry out drill of strategic nuclear forcesRussia’s military to carry out drill of strategic nuclear forces

20,000 rally in Moscow to demand release of protesters20,000 rally in Moscow to demand release of protesters

Planes land in Russia-Ukraine prisoner swapPlanes land in Russia-Ukraine prisoner swap

Watch: Sprinkler hoses Russian journalist in face during live sports reportWatch: Sprinkler hoses Russian journalist in face during live sports report

More in this Section

Police and protesters clash in Catalonia for third nightPolice and protesters clash in Catalonia for third night

Commuters fight back after Extinction Rebellion protesters climb on top of TubeCommuters fight back after Extinction Rebellion protesters climb on top of Tube

Hong Kong assembly session halted by new opposition protestHong Kong assembly session halted by new opposition protest

Obama endorses Trudeau in unprecedented moveObama endorses Trudeau in unprecedented move


Lifestyle

We had our first filling last weekend.Learner Dad: As long as other people gave their kids more sugar than we gave ours, we assumed we didn’t have a problem

Experts on bedroom style reveal their top tips to Gabrielle Fagan, so you can create your perfect sleeping space.Let’s go to bed: How to create the cosy winter retreat you’ve always dreamed of

Sink your teeth into our top tips for Halloween dental care.Dental shock: Save your child's teeth from the ‘horrors’ of Halloween

More From The Irish Examiner