Mikhail Yefimovich Fradkov (born September 1, 1950) is a Russian politician who was the Prime Minister of Russia from March 2004 to September 2007.
Fradkov was born near the city now known as Samara in a family of Jewish origin. He studied at both the Moscow Machine Tool Design Istitute (graduated 1972) and the Foreign Trade Academy (graduated 1981). In 1973, he was posted to the economic section of the Soviet Union's embassy in India, where he remained for two years. He later held several positions back in Russia. In 1991, he was Russia's representative to General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) in Geneva.
In late 1992, Fradkov was appointed Deputy Minister for Foreign Economic Relations. Less than a year later, in October 1993, he became First Deputy Minister for Foreign Economic Relations. On 15 April 1997, a presidential decree by Boris Yeltsin appointed Fradkov Minister of Foreign Economic Relations and Trade, a post which he kept for nearly a year. In the middle of 1999, another presidential decree made him Minister of Trade.
He was made director of the Federal Tax Police by Vladimir Putin in 2001, having previously been Deputy Secretary of the Security Council. In 2003 he was made Russia's representative to the European Union. On March 1, 2004, he was nominated by Putin as the next Prime Minister, and this appointment was approved by the Duma on March 5.
Fradkov's nomination as Prime Minister was a surprise to many observers, as he was not seen as part of Vladimir Putin's inner circle. Some commentators, such as the Carnegie Moscow Center's Lilia Shevtsova, have speculated that his "outsider" status might have been an important factor in his nomination, saying that Putin selected him as someone who was "not a representative of any of the warring clans" in the Kremlin. Former Prime Minister Sergei Stepashin, whom Fradkov has served under, called Fradkov "absolutely independent from any sort of political clan or group." Putin and his allies have praised Fradkov as experienced, professional, and honest.
On May 12, 2004, Fradkov was appointed Prime Minister for the second time, as Vladimir Putin had won the presidential election and been inaugurated on May 7. See also Mikhail Fradkov's Second Cabinet.
On September 12, 2007 Fradkov announced his resignation to President Putin, which Putin accepted, nominating Viktor Zubkov as Fradkov's successor. Putin bestowed an award on Fradkov and said that he would remain in office until the confirmation of a successor by the Duma. Zubkov was confirmed on September 14.
On October 6, 2007, president Putin announced that he would appoint Fradkov as head of the country's Foreign Intelligence Service "Russian Foreign Intelligence"