Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev is not having an easy time forming a Cabinet, as many of those he invited did not want to work in the government.
Officials say the list of candidates will be announced on Monday.
"The legend must become true, so the government will form only after Camp David," a Kremlin official joked, making reference to President Vladimir Putin's decision to skip the Group of Eight summit to devote his full attention to the government.
Medvedev and Putin held meetings to discuss candidates for ministers and deputy prime ministers, and Medvedev met with potential candidates. Those negotiations were tough, say people who followed them, and many whom Medvedev spoke to refused.
There were a variety of reasons for the refusals to enter the government. Some were not happy with the balance of power, some did not want to leave the business world and others were just tired, the Kremlin official said.
Rosatom general director Sergei Kiriyenko and presidential candidate Mikhail Prokhorov did not want to be deputy prime ministers.
Kiriyenko said he wanted to remain within the nuclear industry, rather than answering for it from the Cabinet, according to an acquaintance of his. A government official said that although former Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin is leaving the government, everyone thinks that he will continue to influence the energy sector and to control it indirectly.
The reason for Prokhorov's refusal was unclear.
Elvira Nabiullina will not be in the Cabinet either, said two people familiar with the negotiations with Medvedev. She explained that she was tired of working in government, says one of them, and turned down the post of deputy prime minister for social issues.
SUEK chief executive Vladimir Rashevsky "did not even send in his resume" for the job of energy minister, a source acquainted with him said.
Rector of the Higher School of Economics Yaroslav Kuzminov will be active in the open government but refused to become education minister, according to two federal officials.
There were others who refused ministerial posts but will work in the presidential administration, the officials said, but they were unwilling to name them.
Now everybody wants to work in the Kremlin, another source said, since the center of decision making is moving there. "The president likes to deal with the economy and make decisions, so he will form the real government," he commented.
Many from the former government will transfer to the presidential administration, a Kremlin official said.
The emergence of a "second" Cabinet would complicate and impede governing, political scientist Boris Makarenko said. Ministers and deputy prime ministers would act with one eye on who has the real last word and not be particular responsible.
"If they form the executive branch in that manner, then how will it work? How efficient and how fast?" he said.