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Kremlin Discusses Candidates to Head Oil-Rich Bashkortostan

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July 13 (Bloomberg) -- Murtaza Rakhimov plans to resign as president of Russia’s oil-rich Bashkortostan region as the Kremlin seeks to retire an older generation of regional leaders.

Rakhimov met with Kremlin chief of staff Sergei Naryshkin to consult him about “possible candidates” for the post, the regional leader’s administration said on its website today.

An official close to Rakhimov said the Bashkir chief had already signed his letter of resignation. Natalya Timakova, spokeswoman for President Dmitry Medvedev, declined to comment when contacted by Bloomberg News.

Rakhimov, an oilman by profession, is a member of the leadership of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party. He and Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov are Russia’s longest-serving regional chiefs. Last year the Kremlin retired Eduard Rossel, in power as the governor of the Sverdlovsk region since 1991. Tatarstan President Mintimer Shaimiyev was replaced earlier this year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Anastasia Ustinova in St. Petersburg at austinova@bloomberg.net; Ilya Arkhipov in London at iarkhipov@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James M. Gomez in Prague jagomez@bloomberg.net

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