Conflicting claims multiplied yesterday regarding the status of the post of CIS executive secretary. Russian President Boris Yeltsin told his Georgian counterpart Eduard Shevardnadze by telephone that Boris Berezovsky has signed and handed in his resignation. Yeltsin’s chief spokesman Dmitri Yakushkin, however, said nothing about that in a special statement shortly afterward on the same subject. Even more to the point, Yakushkin said that Berezovsky’s resignation was unnecessary because Yeltsin had “decided” to dismiss him. Yakushkin’s main point was that the Kremlin is in the process of getting the endorsement of other presidents of CIS countries on the appointment of Ivan Karatchenya as executive secretary of the CIS. In the Kremlin’s announcement, the qualification “acting” disappeared–whether inadvertently or otherwise–from Karatchenya’s title.
Meanwhile, Berezovsky, in a statement from Washington, emphatically denied the version that he had resigned. He said that he had only notified Yeltsin of a “prescheduled leave of absence” for a speaking tour in the United States. During that tour he would present his ideas of CIS reform. Berezovsky insists that he remains the executive secretary of the CIS pending an official decision by the Council of Heads of State at the next CIS summit. That event, however, has yet to be scheduled (Itar-Tass, Russian TV, ORT, Ekho Moskvy, March 11).
LUKASHENKA WOULD “DIALOGUE” WITH OPPOSITION ON HIS OWN TERMS.