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Kremlin Denies Minister's Resignation

President Vladimir Putin's spokesman denied on Tuesday that Regional Development Minister Oleg Govorun, who has been on sick leave since late September, has left the government.

The spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, dismissed media reports on Tuesday that Putin had signed papers accepting Govorun's resignation, saying the Kremlin had received no such request from Govorun.

Speculation that Govorun, who was appointed shortly after Putin's inauguration in May, wanted to quit started circulating following a reprimand from Putin on Sept. 19. Putin had expressed dissatisfaction with the implementation of presidential decrees dating back to May.

Deputy Regional Development Minister Valery Gaevsky dispelled the rumor on Sept. 26, saying Govorun was merely on sick leave. But he added that he was acting minister during Govorun's absence.

Peskov also denied reports of Govorun's resignation on Oct. 9.

No information is available as to when Govorun will return to work, Interfax reported.

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