Emergency Situations Minister Sergei Shoigu
A State Duma source told Interfax on Thursday that Emergency Situations Minister Sergei Shoigu is a top candidate to replace Boris Gromov as the governor of the Moscow region.
"Right now consultations between the leadership of United Russia and the presidential administration are under way, and Shoigu is being discussed as a candidate," the source said. "Moreover, today he is the most likely candidate for this position."
Another government source said that if Shoigu is advanced as a candidate by United Russia, he will be chosen for governor, Interfax reported.
Gromov, the long-serving governor of the region that surrounds the Russian capital, announced last week that he would step aside when his term ends in May.
United Russia has made no official comment on its choice. It has until the end of the month to nominate a candidate to President Dmitry Medvedev, who can then go with its choice or select someone else.
Vedomosti reported Thursday that Shoigu could be named by Medvedev on April 5.