Presidential press secretary Sergei Medvedev suggested to Interfax January 10 that Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin’s recommendation had been instrumental in Boris Yeltsin’s decision to name Yevgeny Primakov foreign minister. Primakov formerly directed the Russian foreign intelligence service. (9) A Russian newspaper reported that Primakov in turn lobbied Yeltsin to fill his vacated post with his first deputy, Col. General Vyacheslav Trubnikov. The ensuing appointment was said to have followed a short conversation between Yeltsin and Trubnikov. (10) Meanwhile, a foreign ministry spokesman yesterday dismissed media reports that claimed a government commission had recommended four deputy foreign ministers be sacked late last year. (11) The rumors, coming on the heels of Primakov’s appointment, suggest that the foreign ministry may soon experience a housecleaning.
Kremlin Avoiding Negotiated Solution to Hostage Crisis?