According to a series of official communiques (Itar-Tass, March 6, 7), Boris Yeltsin notified the eleven presidents of CIS countries by telephone about his “decisions” to remove Boris Berezovsky and designate Ivan Karatchenya as acting CIS Executive Secretary. However, Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze yesterday cast serious doubt on that version. Shevardnadze told a Tbilisi news conference that the telephone call to him had been made not by Yeltsin, but “by Yeltsin’s security service and his antechamber.” Shevardnadze described such a procedure as “insulting,” and a presidential communication via staffers to another president as “not warranting a reply” (Russian agencies, March 10). The disclosure raises the possibility that Yeltsin either administered a supplementary snub to certain presidents, or that he was simply not in a physical condition to converse with all of his eleven counterparts.
CIS–CPSU CENTRAL COMMITTEE?